It was by invitation only.
Every single Friday, a group of four women
met for lunch. Usually, they either had Chinese food, hamburgers, or salads.
However, it really did not matter what the cuisine was; rather, it was the
friendship and support they derived from each other that was important.
Throughout the years there had been plenty of
happy occasions that would be the center of discussion around their Friday
meal; however, there also had been so much sorrow and sadness discussed around
the table, throughout the many restaurant meals.
When Helen discussed the upcoming marriage of
her son, all four were so generally happy and proud. However, when Carol was
sharing her pain in regard to her sister-in-law's recurring cancer all in the
"lunch group" got the same lumps in their throats.
When Allene's daughter made wedding plans at
a Caribbean hotel all were happy; however when the wedding day happened to
coincide with the arrival of a hurricane on the island, not too many of the
family and guests were pleased. (However, fortunately, the wedding was moved to
another location on the mainland and the bride and groom eventually had smiles
on their faces--and everyone as well.)
One of the group's members, Toby, experienced
a trauma when her son was involved in a near-fatal injury; however, she, too,
eventually returned to the group. And Toby, her family, and her son are doing
well -- partly due to the support of the "lunch group."
I think that the "lunch group"
learned many years ago that "Life is not fair;" however, it is
important to "play the hand you are dealt the best you can."
That attitude was vital when Helen's husband
became ill with dementia. For a few years, she lived with him in their home,
taking care of him. Then, when the illness became even more severe, he had to
be hospitalized, eventually going to a nursing home. For more than a year,
Helen went daily to that facility. She wanted to make sure her husband was as
happy as he could be, doing the best she could "with the cards she had
been dealt." But she was not alone. Every day, she had family and friends
with her and her husband at the nursing home; however, not on Friday afternoons
during lunch time. On Fridays, after she made sure that her husband had his
meal, guess where she would go? You guessed it - she would be with her "lunch
All four were always ready to do anything
necessary for the other three. (That is the true meaning of
"friendship.") However, one day the group could do nothing but cry as
one of the four, Allene, passed away. She had been so ill for so long, but
three things were a certainty: she was always smiling; she never complained;
and -- she always made her Friday "lunch group" with the other three.
There was an empty seat that Friday when the
others decided to return to their ritual. However, the others seemed to be able
to feel a "spirit" at Allene's empty chair. At first, there were many
tears around the table; however, soon there was a feeling of comfort. I think
Allene would have wanted the group to continue. In fact, everyone who knew her
believed that; she was that kind of special person.
The four were, and are, all wonderful in
their own special ways; however, they all possess such loving hearts,
caring souls, and were, and are, friends to the end. True friends are so
The members of the "lunch group"
were, and are, so very lucky as they will always have each other -- forever.
Michael Jordan Segal ©2008
Jordan Segal, who
defied all odds after being shot in the head, is a husband, father, social
worker, freelance author (including a CD/Download of 12 stories, read with
light backgroud music, entitled POSSIBLE), and inspirational speaker,
sharing his recipe for happiness, recovery and success before conferences and
businesses. To contact Mike or to order his CD, please visit www.InspirationByMike.com as well as checking out his
youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNeRqpaoNpQ