Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Friends are what make it all worthwhile

Possibly no other day this year made me appreciate the value of friendship more than Sunday did. It was my birthday. I live by myself (my husband passed away nearly five years ago) and my children are all grown and living successfully on their own (thank heavens) so it’s just me and the cats. I sat down at my computer to communicated with the world and was stunned by an avalanche of birthday wishes from my digital friends.
Over the years since I first became published I have grown my community of friends way beyond any number I thought possible. Some of you I have met and enjoyed every second of our time together. But the vast majority of you I have not. We communicate through Facebook or Twitter or some other digital platform.
Writing is a solitary occupation. Even though writers have friends they plot and brainstorm with, it’s still just you and the keyboard when you sit down to write. You hope and pray that your words reach out to people and affect the That you give people pleasure with your stories and that through that you will become friends with them. But of course it’s not a given.
So when I sat down the morning of my birthday I hoped that a few of you would remember the date and send me wishes. Wow! That’s all I can say. Wow! The flood of birthday wishes totally stunned and amazed me. And the digital cards. The pictures of cakes and flowers people took the time and trouble to put together.
I called each of my kids to share the moment with them because everyone who took the time to send me a note or post a message touched a special place in my heart. I am awed and honored that on a day when people relax with families and friends or have special events planned so many of you took the time to remember this special day for me.
So to everyone out there, thank you so much for your friendship. You will never know how honored I am by it or how my heart is warmed. Or how much pleasure I get from your messages and your tweets and your Likes. And of course, you support of my writing.
I wish you all lives filled with joy and the knowledge that to me, your friendship is one of the most priceless things in the world.


  1. Happy belated birthday, Desiree! I feel honored to have been lucky enough to have met you in person. I admire you tremendously - your courage and your positive energy, not to mention your apparently inexhaustible supply of stories!

  2. Happy birthday, Desiree!

    If you ever get to the SF bay area, give me a heads up.

  3. Everyone deserves to feel special at least one day a year, on their birthday! So glad so many of your internet friends contributed to your day. And happy belated birthday.

    Parenting is a job with built-in planned obsolescence. If you do your job right, they all leave you to create their own places in the world. So congrats on a job well done, since they're all living independently.

    1. Fiona brings up something that's so different about many younger folks. Momma and I never had any kids, so we just observe. Without trying to be all… "them damn youngsters", about it, what's happened to the spirit of independence? As a late teen, the most embarrassing thing would be having our parents drive us anywhere. My nephews are 22 and 20 respectively, and don't even give a damn about getting a drivers license, let alone a serious job. And it's not only them. We hear of the 'boomerang kids' who can't find jobs. When many of us were younger, we couldn't wait to get out on our own. Wassup wit dat? Is it strictly economic or is something else going on here?

  4. I've been subbing in high schools for the past 10 years, during which all 4 of my kids graduated from high school themselves. I often share with the students that at age 14 I told all of my kids to get a work permit and get their first jobs. We have lots of love in our house, but not so much money, so if they wanted spending money above and beyond the pittance of allowance I was paying them, they needed to work for it. The oldest one didn't really find a job until he was 16, but the other 3 all worked during the summer at least, from age 14.

    I also tell the students that we didn't let them get their licenses until they were able to pay us for the difference between what we were paying for insurance while they were on a permit, and what we'd have to pay once they were driving alone. Kids are often aghast at our cruelty. Two of our sons didn't bother with a license until they were 18 because they didn't want to pay for that. But when they started college, we helped all of them by paying half (or more) in getting them a used car to get around in.

    There was an article in the AARP magazine last year about the trend of young people not moving out, or moving back in after being on their own for a while. There are a myriad of reasons for this. For one, some parents are way cooler than their own parents were...and before you laugh, let me ask you if your parents would have allowed you to have an overnight "guest" of the opposite sex. My Dad called me so many different names for slut that he'd have shit a brick before he'd have allowed that. But we let our kids do it. Our philosophy is that once they're 18 and paying rent or still in college, they're adults, with rights. They're still respectful, still our children, but we treat them as fellow adults.

    Another reason is that the economy is just so damn bad theses days. I know many of my friends whose kids have graduated to find that a liberal arts degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on. I've known that for a long time, since my English degree guarantees me I can always find minimum wage retail jobs...but not much else. Heavy sigh. So kids are finding out just how expensive it is to live on their own, even with roommates, and moving back home after college.

    And yes, some kids are just damn lazy. But it has always been thus. Some kids feel "entitled" to the best of everything and are dismayed that a McD's job can't afford them the luxuries they always took for granted at home. And helicopter parents are only too happy to keep them perpetually young, so the parents still feel in control of their lives.

    Like I said, lots of reasons. Sorry to hijack the comments area here, Desiree. But Daddy X responded to what I saw as just a compliment to you. Daddy, did this explanation help?

    1. Sounds like you did right by your kids, Fiona. My sister and her husband are definitely
      helicopter parents, but IMO not doing the boys any favors. Christ, they call mom and dad to drive them everywhere, and pick them up. Momma and I had already been married two years by the oldest one's age.

      And, I don't want to speak for Desiree, but you can hijack my posts anytime, Fiona. These blogposts are supposed to generate intelligent discussion, and you're quite consistent at contributing to that end.

  5. Happy belated birthday, Desiree! I'm so glad that Internet friends stepped in to help you celebrate. :)

  6. Desiree, I'm so glad you enjoyed your birthday! As your post and the comments show, there is a happy medium between feeling overwhelmed by the needs of other people (esp if they are dependent on you) and being alone and feeling isolated. I hope you will always be surrounded by friends.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.