Recently I was asked to do a book signing at an upscale boutique in Tampa, Florida. Emails went out to the shop customers, an exterior sign heralded my name, and items appeared in newspaper columns, announcing the event.
I was a bit uneasy about engaging a lot of strangers in conversation, (“Do you need a house-warming gift?”) but it turns out I didn’t need to be: The people who arrived were old friends – some I hadn’t seen in more than a decade – like Fred Rock (pictured above.) They came to congratulate me, to catch up and be supportive. (One even brought the most delicious donuts to tide me over until I could eat a late lunch!)
I was humbled and happy to see each of them.
Today, few friendships survive corporate relocations, divorces or deaths. Virginia Woolf summed it up rather nicely: “I have lost friends, some by death, others through sheer inability to cross the street.”
But I thank God every day for the lasting ones – the people you call when the doctor says “I‘d like to run a few more tests,” or your child moves in with someone you’ve never much liked or trusted.
Funny thing – I’ve no idea how many books were sold last week. I simply know how many friends showed up. And that means so much more…