Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 25, 2001

Friends make life more bearable and more fun

By PATRICE WALDRON

Having just honored our fathers with Father's Day, I was thinking about my Dad. My Dad died of cancer in 1989.

Cancer is one of those things you never think will happen to you or your family.

Following the local sports teams has led me to think about how my Dad affected my life.

I recently attended a girls softball game, and was touched by the encouraging words of the parents, grandparents, and friends in the stands.

When I was in high school, (way back when), I took it for granted that my Dad was always there, in the stands, for me.

My Mom is a nurse, and has always worked the 3 - 11:30 p.m. shift. She couldn't often attend my volleyball games or track meets, but my Dad made sure he was there.

I couldn't hear my Dad yelling from the stands, just as I doubt the kids on the field can hear the words spoken by their supporters. The thing is, I know he was there.

Today, I live 320 miles from my hometown. I don't have the everyday support of either of my parents.

When I go back to Wisconsin for the weekend, my Mom has a bed ready and my favorite food in the house.

Through my job, I have met a lot of people, many of whom have become my friends.

I have found that my day-to-day support now comes from my friends.

Support comes in many forms. As we get older, and our children become more interesting, we often don't have parents around to give us a hand. That's where are friends come in.

My friends have given me advice about my sump pump, helped me with backing up a U-Haul trailer, answered plumbing questions, unloaded furniture, and many other things.

One of the most important things my friends have done for me is to listen. Sometimes, all I need to do is talk, and the problem seems smaller.

I wonder if there's a day set aside to honor our friends. If there's not a Friendship Day, there should be. For now, let me extend my thanks and appreciation to all of you who have helped me in the seven months I've been here.

Thank you for your help, support, kind words, listening ear, and encouragement.

We rarely get the chance to repay people in the same way that they've helped us, but we can pass the goodness on.

I am the person I am today, partly because of my parents, but also because of the friends I've had in my lifetime.

Thanks for making the difficult times more bearable, and the good times more fun. I appreciate each of you!


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