Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Thu. September 11, 2008 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

Just recently I experienced something that sparked my attention. It grabbed hold of me because it happened three times. Funny, how it takes a few hits over the head before we start to pay attention.

My Parents made their maiden voyage on the cruise ship, MS Westerdam. I was super excited for them to be on a new adventure and to receive some well deserved pampering. They have both done so much for me and for countless others. I feel they deserve the lavish life!

One day into the cruise, my Father called me to report in and give me the lowdown on everyone and everything. I could hear my Mom in the background doing her thing. Little did I know that it would be the last time I would speak with them for six days.

Before you think that I've not "cut the cord" as it were, you have to understand that I am very close with my folks. Individually, they both contribute so much to the person I am and the man I want to be. Corporately they have stood with me during the biggest challenges of my life and supported me in all my endeavors. I also happen to like them beyond their roles as parents. Truth be told, if they weren't my parents, I'd die to be their pals!

Six Days
It was only six days. That's one hundred and forty-four hours. Come on, what was I so worried about? Was it worry or something else? I began to think about things; I don't think I would normally have thought of. I'm glad too!

Because of this cruise, I was forced to think of my day to day life without the involvement of my parents. I know that sounds a bit morbid, but honestly I gained a richer appreciation of my wonderful folks! The cards, (My Mom is Mrs. Hallmark) notes, party's, emails, Friday packets, (My Father sends one to my siblings and me every week. It's got programs, pictures, articles, and notes of his activities from the week before) phone calls, cocktails, blankets, and introductions.

Without tooting my own horn, I think most would say that I do a pretty good job of thanking my parents and giving them the praise they truly deserve. It was their absence for six days that really challenged me to do a better job!

The second hit over the head was with one of my closest friends, Advisor Edward . Edward and I talk and connect a number of times a week; whether it is at the gym or one of our favorite watering holes around town. I've come to really enjoy our fellowship. He's a very smart person, with a great view of the world around us. He also seems to get me. (Something I don't think most really do.)

This summer has seen our schedules all over the place and completely interfering with our normal interaction. It was during this time that my eyes were opened to just how important he had become in my life. I honestly missed him!

The third and final hit over the head was with regard to two wonderful ladies that I work with. I've known Barbara Sharpley and Lanita Thomas for a number of years and consider them good friends. Just last week I experienced my office without both of them. They were both on trips. Now, I like to kid them about being loud mouths, (Ya, I'm one to talk!) but it was SO quiet around the office! There wasn't Barbie's loud laugh and Nita's party favor sneeze. (You'd have to hear it to know what I mean)

The two of them bring so much joy and energy to the office; it's very noticeable when absent. I really see the difference!

With all the fast paced moments in our lives, I love when life slaps me upside the head to remind me what it is that I've been blessed with. I share all of this in the hope that you won't need to be reminded of the great things you've got going for you.

Sure, life can be rough, but there is a lot about our lives that's good! If your health is bad, focus on the support you have from friends. Perhaps your job isn't what you would like it to be. Be mindful that you have a job in today's bad economy. Even if life seems to be perfect, direct your attention to why that is the case. As far as I'm concerned, my life is great because of the aforementioned people and the many others that I call my friends. I am fond of them all!