Truth About Friends: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Who among us does not have a friend.  Rhetorical question.  Ever been told that to have a friend one must first be?

My little boy is learning about friendship, and as I observe his interactions, I realize that friendship is complicated.  Who is a friend?  Is it the person you see often?  Is it someone who is like you?

Does having many friends mean you’re a nice person?  Does having only a few friends mean you’re not?

Whatever friendship should be, I made this decision.  I will not tell my son who is and who isn’t his friend.  Why?  Because choosing a friend is a very personal decision.

The Good

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life.” ~ Mark Twain

I understand Mark Twain’s statement to be the middle of the road, easy-peasy, sit on the fence position about friendship.  As we wander through life, we meet those people we interact with on a regular basis.  Like your ex-neighbour who now lives too far away to see weekly, but we keep contact through social media.  She is someone we can share with about the worry of the month or the bug bite in that part of the body you whisper instead of out loud.  These are the good guys.

beezgiftz.com

beezgiftz.com

The Bad

“The sincere friends of this world are as ship lights in the stormiest of night.”  ~ Giotto di Bondoni

Then, we have those friends that seem to appear when life hands you lemons.  You may not see these people very often.  In fact, you think of them once in a blue moon, like during Christmases or when something very specific happens.  Sort of like when you’re trying to find that coconut cream pie recipe – not just any recipe but that specific one that people talk about for weeks after you bring it in to work.  You got it from her, who got it from her grandmother, who in turn got it from the friend of a friend of that really famous chef.

No, they’re not bad friends.  They’re the friends who are better than the “normal” friends because these friends hug and wipe your tears when you’re in a really bad place.  They love you, will drop everything they possibly can to stay by you.  They hold your hand until you are ready to let go and wing it on your own again.

beezgiftz.com

beezgiftz.com

The Ugly

“A friend is one who knows us but loves us anyway.” ~ Fr. Jerome Cummings

What’s ugly – well, the truth about you…and ME.  Let’s face it: we all have our ugly side.  So ugly that we expend quite a bit of effort into pretending that this side does not exist.  Actually, I can’t face my ugliness.  (No, I’m not going to share my ugliness!)

I am very lucky to have not one but two friends who are my “ugly” friends.  And there is no doubt in my mind that they love me.  Even more importantly, they like me.  They put up with me, and they laugh with me.

How do I know?  Well, he chose to stay with me when I could not even bear to live with myself.  And, he’s still here.  Even when I try to pin my troubles on him, he stayed on to listen to my whines and then hugged me afterwards.  Then, he told me that he loved me.

beezgiftz.com

beezgiftz.com

Your Turn

Before you go, do you know who your friends are?  The good, the bad and, especially, the ugly?  You ought to.  Do it for yourself.

Keep making friends – someone said that there are two kinds of people in this world: friends & strangers.  The strangers are friends you have not yet met.  Maybe we will meet some day, and then we can see what kind of friends we will be.  Until then, take care!

Live Life in Full Colours

A new born baby’s eyes continues to develop after birth.  In the beginning, their eyes can detect black, white and bold colours.  As the newborn grows, their eyes begin to learn to process other colours, to the point where the average child is able to parse bold, light and even shades of the same colour family.

newborn

Newborn

Consider in photography that while pictures can be developed in glossy, matte, soft and many other options for presentation purposes, black and white photos continue to bring about a sense of nostalgia.  It seems that given the many attractive and creative photo options, black and white remains a highly popular choice.

In this same way, I find that some greeting cards are most charming or poignant in black and white.  They bring a sense of the classic, and tugs at the heart strings.  Despite all the colour options such as pink ribbons,, silver cardstock paper, textured paper, beautiful artwork and quality designer papers, black and white most often stands out.

B&W Tux, BeezGiftz.com

B&W Tux, BeezGiftz.com

However, living our life in the absence of colours can mean that we’ve chosen to stop seeing the beauty in Mother Nature.  Life is meant to be lived in full colours – when we can see the subtle pink within the red roses, or the beautiful patterns of the butterfly.  When we choose our outfits and accessorize with a purple leather handbag, we walk with a spring in our step.

Colour Flower

Colour Flower

Before we head out tomorrow, let’s take a colour with us, be it a broach, fashion ring, nail polish or snazzy shoes.  Live your life in full colours starting today!  And send us your pictures.  We will be happy to post them here for you!  Cheers!

The Flower of Remembrance

I ran towards the thin slits of light ahead, falling head long towards the opening.  It was impossible to breathe and my stomach was growing sick with nausea.  I could not feel my legs but knew they were still beneath me.

Suddenly,blinded by the scorching sun, my eyes squeezed shut as tears ran down my cheeks.  I sucked in a humongous gulp of air, again and again, until my body collapsed onto the sandy floor.  Only my palms flat against the hot dusty road assured me that the spinning was just in my head.  Beads of sweat trickled down the sides of my face even as my heart thumped painfully against my chest.

opium-poppy

The thick curtain from where I had emerged imprisoned people that were trapped in a heavy cloud of smoke that chained them to their habit.  Their only need was for the dark, sticky tar-like substance of opium, which they stuffed into their pipes. They died bit by bit with each inhalation, until eternal sleep took them.

The Flower

I returned to my room and packed my belongings immediately.  As I sat at the train station, a little old lady who was carrying a basket of poppy flowers stopped in front of me and gave me a one.  I shook my head to decline. I had given the last local currency to the hostel owners, eager to expunge any and every association with this place.  I pointed at my pockets and gestured with my hands that I did not have money to give to her in exchange.

poppy

She smiled and insisted.  She didn’t want my money.  Instead, she gave me a little card with printed words.  It read,

In Flanders Fields 

By Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Flower of Remembrance

Flower of Remembrance

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Gratitude, Hope & Remembrance

I was astounded.  This flower responsible for countless lost lives was also the flower to commemorate servicemen and women who gave their lives to save millions.  The poppy grows in the absence of other flowers and only in ground that has been churned.  Since November 1921, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of every year, we don the poppy to show our gratitude and hope for veterans and survivors of the First World War, and by extension to all military men and women.

The poppy flower that brought death also brought forgiveness, gratitude and hope.

images

Fiction Inspired by:The Butterfly Effect