The Art of Listening

After my best friend Elaine died 9 years ago, my friend Kay trepidly asked:
"now that Elaine is gone, is my friendship status upgraded?"

When we were younger, much to Kay's chagrin, I had to keep phone calls to a minimum due to the size of my family.
I would talk a mile a minute. Before Kay could get a word in,
I would have to say good bye due to the simple fact that...my time was up.
Now that I am an adult, I am learning.
My tutor and upgraded friend Kay, so patiently puts up with trying to improve on my listening skills.
With all the holiday festivities, family bonding and un-bonding,
(my sister's visit winding down to the last 4 days before she heads home to the Philippines
--my father-in-law's by-pass surgery and the housing of 10 hospital visitors),
a 600 mi road trip, house repairs and letters to Santa,
Kay leaves nothing to chance and interrupts my writing with a phone call.
She wants to make sure that I am able to greet her today, on her birthday.
She understands that I have been busy.
She knows that I will feel crappy if I forget.
She is a true friend.
She stood by me when I needed her twelve days ago as I hurdled yet another emotional wall.

To my dear friend Kay,
who was never in need of a "friend upgrade".
That term best friend,
was really just a monicker carried over from young life when the need to possess and declare ownership was important.
Thank goodness for evolution and maturity--our friendships today no longer need titles for it to be valuable.

Happy Birthday.