In early November I got a message on my phone from my mom’s bridge partner at Atlantic Shores. Dorie called to say she was so thrilled to see the article in our November issue about P.E.O. “I’m a member,” she said and went on to tell a little more about her chapter and how happy she was that Tidewater Women was spreading the good word.
“Call me back when you can,” she said.
In early December I was reading the Virginian-Pilot, and there was Dorie’s obituary. At 96 she had been frail for a while, but I hadn’t heard about her recent fall and declining health. I felt so awful that I had never called her back. Life got busy and I kept meaning to call, but I never got around to it.
Dorie was always such a positive person and a good friend to my mom. When she was younger, Dorie loved to travel, so she was a big fan of my travel stories and always asked me where I was headed next when I bumped into her at Atlantic Shores. Mom, of course, is sad her friend is gone, and I am, too. I will miss Dorie, but I know she forgives me for not calling her back.
There are a couple lessons to be learned. The first is don’t wait to call someone you’ve been thinking about. Do it now. The world is a busy place, to be sure, but it should never be so packed full that we don’t have time for our friends and loved ones. I am planning to work less and put more effort into seeing friends in the coming year. Even if we can’t get together, talking on the phone gives us a chance to press the pause button and connect with someone we love.
The second lesson has to do with forgiveness. With the beginning of a fresh, new year, take a moment to think about people you need to forgive and just do it. Life is too short to hold grudges. We can be stubborn to a fault, but carrying poison around inside for months and years not only harms the person you need to forgive, but it hurts you, too.
Make a list of people to forgive and then take a baby step toward forgiveness. Send an email or a text if that’s easier. Then plan to talk on the phone and just say, “Let’s start over.” It’s never too late to forgive, and a huge weight will fall from your shoulders. Next make a list of friends to call and write. Aim to reach out to one friend a week. Maybe send a cute card or make a lunch date. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Here’s hoping you and yours have a fabulous 2018! Thanks for being loyal readers and advertisers. We wouldn’t be here without you!