Close friends contribute to our personal growth.
They also contribute to our personal pleasure,
making the music sound sweeter, the wine taste richer,
the laughter ring louder, because they are there.
–Judith Viorst (Author/Psychoanalysis Researcher)
SONG CHOICE :
Tell Her About It
Sometimes it’s overdue to put the spotlight on the kindnesses bestowed on you by your girlfriends. A Ladies Night In — Friendship Gratitude Dinner is a perfect time to tell them just how much they mean to you.
Several years ago I seriously scalded my legs from boiling hot water from the tea kettle by pouring it into a glass pitcher for iced tea. The pitcher immediately broke all over my legs, resulting in deep second degree burns on my upper legs (ouch).
Never do this at home.
Heaven Must Be Missing
I spent the month of July recuperating on my screen porch. But due to the kindnesses of my girlfriends, including Donna (with me, above right), I never worried about what my family would eat. I was never without an abundance of meals, gift cards for take-out, get-well cards, flowers, prayers and visits to break up my day.
My friends lead very busy lives, but they took the time for me, and they did it often.
When you ask God for a gift, be thankful if He sends,
not diamonds, not pearls, or riches,
but the love of real true friends.
— Helen Steiner Rice
Whenever I Call You Friend
That December, as my thank you, I invited several of those girlfriends to a sit-down dinner. I called it a “Friendship Gratitude Dinner.”
I added a lot of little touches to make it special, like using my Lenox Christmas china that my aunt has been collecting for me.
Since many of them were coming right from their busy jobs or Christmas shopping, the room was lit by candlelight, the fireplace glowed, the tree twinkled with white lights, and the instrumental Christmas music — solos of harp, flute, acoustic guitar, violin and piano — was soothing.
I could see them relax the minute they walked in the door; and I was grateful I could provide this “peace pocket” in their busy lives.
I Just Gotta Get a Message to You
On each scroll, I had written a personal note of thanks to each of them, including what makes them uniquely special to me.
This intimate setting at a reflective time of year provided the perfect backdrop to say, I want to thank you, girl.
And I’ll be there for you…just as you have been there for me.
Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your kindness sealed up until
your friends are gone. Speak approving, cheering words while
their ears can hear them — and be made happier by them.
–George William Childs (American Publisher)
After our Friendship Gratitude Dinner — a homecooked chicken dinner — one by one each of my girlfriends unrolled the scroll and read it aloud.
The shared words touched the heart of not only the recipient, but everyone else’s as well. Several were too tearful and had to have someone else read it.
Here’s the scroll I wrote for Donna (above), whom I lost to cancer last year and one of my dear friends to whom this site is dedicated.
I don’t know what I’d do without your kindness,
generosity, thoughtfulness and sense of humor
in my life. I know when I spend time with you, I will feel terrific
after because we will have laughed and bared our souls
within the safe harbor of genuine friendship.
We raised our daughters together and
that has been an immense joy in my life.
I am thankful every day to
God for giving me you as a friend.
How lucky that we’ll “grow old” together,
forever laughing and having fun.
I will treasure you always and forever, dear friend.
How grateful I am that I could share these words with her, which brought tears to her eyes, while I could. The words are difficult for me to read now, but what a blessing to have had her in my life …. so these words could be written.
Any Time You Need a Friend
My goal for this dinner was to create a memorable and relaxing evening for these special women who were and are my umbrella — and it succeeded in spades. The incredible warmth and love between girlfriends that evening is a memory I will treasure forever….and I know they feel the same.
Even better, I consider this dinner the unofficial start of the CIRCLE OF ANGELS. We grew in numbers and generations from there and haven’t stopped having special times — through the good and the bad — together.
He who sows courtesy reaps friendship;
and he who plants kindness gathers love. –Saint Basil
All You Need Is Love
Our Friendship Gratitude Dinner
My awesome BFFS are (from left):
Sally, Brenda, Regina, Joyce, Jean, Jackie and Donna.
In 2013, we were devastated to lose both Jean and Donna to cancer,
making this memory all the more cherished.
Shower the People
If you take only one thing away from this site — no matter if you’re a Millennial, Gen X-er, Baby Boomer or Golden Girlfriend — make it the Friendship Gratitude Dinner. Upbeat is always fun, but there’s also room for a low-key setting to shower them with love.
In my case, I work as a freelance writer on a part-time basis, which allows me the time and flexibility for entertaining. Translation: I don’t make a lot of money, but I do have a lot of fun being creative!
If you work full-time, this would certainly be more of a challenge. I’ve been there, too, so I know it well.
As an option, order take-out and set a nice table; or, if your budget allows, treat them to dinner or cocktails & appetizers out. The Friendship Gratitude Scrolls are the best part anyway.
To save time, compose the scroll on the computer with a fancy script font (that is what I did); print them on nice paper, roll them up and tie with a pretty ribbon. Or…just slip a note on a notecard into a fancy envelope — no scroll needed. It’s the message the counts and it’s a keeper.
Do it soon. You won’t be sorry.
My daughter, Jill, with best girlfriends….
in a friendship gratitude pose beneath the Eiffel Tower!
Note: When you have some time, please visit the DEDICATION PAGE for more information about Donna, Jean, and two other close friends, Ann and Dave, whom I lost to cancer within four months of each other last year — and to whom this site is dedicated. My mission in creating this site is to bring others closer together in their memory.