The greatest gift…

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Today I reached out to an old friend by email. I met her in Georgia and in a short year we became quite close. We would spend many an afternoon chatting about love, life, family, and relationships over cold Coca-Colas and pepper flavoured Lays potato chips in my Batumi flat. We celebrated North American holidays as best we could in a country that didn’t understand their significance and we complained about locals, roads, transportation, food, and even more so about recently arrived American teachers and their intolerant attitudes! Together we discovered restaurants and internet cafes and many other places that made us feel some comfort in a strange place. Most of all, however, we brought comfort and support to each other.

My friend has emailed me back and her email made me feel almost as if she was sitting on my orange Batumi couch telling me her troubles in person. Reading her email made my heart long to reach out and hug her. We are both very different people but we bonded in a unique way. Her words and understanding of my husband’s difficulties with adjustment brought me great comfort as she understands this culture like no one else I know does. Hearing her life plans for the next year made me smile and I root for her to succeed with them. The sharing of her fears and worries made me sad but also glad she is keeping a positive attitude and growing in ways that make me proud of her. Tomorrow, I will write her back and soon I hope to visit her.

In this last while, my family has been giving me heck in all kinds of ways but my friends have truly stepped up in a manner that touched me and surprised me. I have another three truly special women in my life. I have known all of them for more than 10 years and each of them I bond with in different ways. All of these women have given me great support, comfort, and strength. I pledge I will do my best to honor and appreciate them this year. I pledge I will make time for them and listen to their troubles, share their joys, and walk with them through their dark days. One of the greatest gifts one can give another is the gift of friendship. I value this so much more now and hope I can bring more light into the lives of others and that my husband also finds some good friends in this country.

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