“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Theresa.

Many years ago, during a deep meaning of life discussion, a friend stated simply, “The purpose of our existence is the relationships that we build with each other.”

During this past week, when Richard and I tried to make sense of the last month, we were overcome by the remarkable thoughtfulness of others. My friend’s straightforward words, from years before, came right back to me. We all build relationships everywhere…and are often unaware of their sheer magnitude.

I wrote last week’s post in an attempt to explain to all family and friends at once, the events of the previous few weeks. I wanted to ensure that people heard this from me…or could at least check my point of view easily.

What I hadn’t anticipated, was the generous outpouring of love and support from near and far, and from friends old and new. Along with this kindness, individuals shared their personal stories of illness and loss with their own family members.

I adore words, and if you know me well…I seldom run out of things to say! But this personal sharing has left me speechless. Your thoughtfulness has touched Richard and me deeply. We are enriched by your love and support. My friend was right. Relationships are the key. Thank you for being there and taking the time to show your kindness. It means the world to me.

DSMc Photography
Breathing deeply (and easily) after the ‘all clear’ and ‘clean bill of health’ from my doctor.

48 Replies to “Thoughtfulness”

  1. I am so fortunate to have been able to build and maintain the relationship with you and Richard:)
    Desperate to see how you are now!

    1. Hi, Aiqin – Richard and I were just telling friends yesterday about the wonderful dinners we shared together in your home. Best food ever!! Richard and I are looking forward to seeing you and your family again sometime soon!

  2. Relationships are the key…..everyone we meet brings something to our lives no matter how brief . Some are life long friendships and some just short phase in our lives. I saw an old friend from a “phase” (our sons played hockey together)….her first words were…I still tell the story of when we were together on that hockey trip! Which I had totally forgotten, but laughed when reminded…..we had a bit of a run away her and I!! Then I have friends from my childhood who I rarely see but we still chat through FB. All these relationships have touched me and made me who I am in some way. To me friendship is life long no matter how brief the phase… always enjoy the read a gives me time for reflection!

    1. I love this reflection, Georgia. Everyone we meet does bring something to our lives. Viewing all friendships as life-long does bring a whole new perspective, and allows us to cherish those relationships even more dearly.

  3. At times like this it’s always surprising who steps up to the plate. Sometimes I’m stunned at the folks who reach out and disappointed by the people who don’t but I’ve come to accept that people help in different ways. Some will hold your hand during the process. Others are there to catch you at the end. All good.
    Kate recently posted…Sassy cats — How fast they grow!My Profile

    1. Hi, Kate – Thank you for this very thoughtful comment. It is interesting who steps up to the plate in times of need, and who doesn’t. It seldom plays out how I would have predicted. I agree that when we accept that people help in different ways, we are able to lessen disappointment and increase our gratitude.

  4. Hi Donna! Just read your recent post about your health and am so glad to hear about the happy outcome. And you touch on something else–the value of a loving partner when faced with such a potentially overwhelming situation. Not only does the awareness of how precious life is come to us when we face that sort of news–but we also learn to appreciate and hold close those who love us through it all. Enjoy the days ahead in every way! ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living recently posted…5 Choices Taught By Caroline Myss That Lead To Healing And Better HealthMy Profile

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kathy. I am extremely grateful for Richard’s solid and steadfast nature during the whole ordeal. I never once doubted how much I was loved and cared for. With that kind of support at your side, you can go through most anything.

  5. I know your story – and its happy conclusion – touched many of us deeply. Some have gone through their own health scares, and others have experienced it with a loved one. Either way it is frightening and life-changing. This little blogging community is pretty amazing and I’m so happy that you found comfort in our words of concern – and our collective relief.

    I am looking forward to seeing your smiling, healthy self in October!
    Janis recently posted…Rockabilly Style Comes to Las VegasMy Profile

    1. Your words ring so true, Janis. “This little blogging community” is incredible. I remain amazed by the deep connections that I have made here. I would never have believed that would be possible. I look forward to seeing you and Kathy in October!

  6. Out of everything bad that happens, something wonderful happens! Wonderful blog Donna. Glad you are healthy and strong.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and warm wishes, Fran. That’s another thing that I love about blogging–the ability to continue meaningful discussions with friends who live far away. I look forward to reading about your upcoming retirement adventures.

  7. The comments made by others before me have expressed many of my thoughts – from Janis commenting that your story touched us all deeply (certainly a wake-up call for all of us as to how fragile and precious our time on earth is) to Kate’s comment that people don’t always react like we expect they will.

    I’ve learned that many people – myself included – become uncomfortable and embarrassed by their lack of ability in knowing what to say and fear of saying something totally stupid.

    Many years ago one of my staff members at work died suddenly. It was the third sudden death I had had to deal with in a 6 week timeframe and I was a wreck.
    I attended her out-of-town funeral with the VP of Human Resources from our company. In my mental frazzle, I expressed my condolences with the family members – and it was a LARGE family – introducing myself as Suzanne from Human Resources, leaving poor Suzanne behind me more than a little bewildered in how to introduce herself to the grieving family.
    It’s an example of how we can fail epically in our attempt to communicate – especially in times of duress.

    It’s only been in the latter third of my life that I’ve come to appreciate exactly how important relationships are. We give, we share, and when we’re really lucky, we get it back with interest <3
    Joanne Sisco recently posted…Miscellaneous BitsMy Profile

    1. Hi, Joanne – Thank you for reminding us all how difficult it often is for people to express their true emotions, especially during trying times. Your example of your colleague’s death is a good illustration. Equally, it’s often difficult for us to share our own painful news with those that we love. It’s often easier for me to share heartfelt news in writing. In the relatively short time that I’ve had this blog, this is one of the many avenues that it has provided (that I never understood ahead of time that it would)!

  8. I’m glad that you’re doing well and that you had the people who you needed around you when things went wonky. Life throws us all many twists and turns, so it’s great to know other people were there to join you along the way. Sometimes you don’t know how fortunate you are until something like this comes along.
    Ally Bean recently posted…Say What? Botox & The Fine Art Of ConversationMy Profile

    1. These are very wise words, Ally. ‘Wake-Up Calls’ are great lessons…and often given to us for a reason. 😀

  9. Big hug from Singapore and thank you for keeping us on this wonderful path, as always.
    Last night, Jamie and I were just discussing so many things about our time at WAB with you and Karen.

    1. Hi, Alison – It’s so great to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. Big hugs to both you and Jamie. Our son, Creighton, lives in Singapore. I’ll be sure to let you know the next time that Richard and I visit there!

    1. What a great attitude and perspective, Stephanie! It is often how we choose to see the world, and to view the actions of others, that makes the biggest difference.

  10. This was very touching to read, Donna. I was heartened to see blogger Barbara’s post in the last few days that mentioned you and your happy outcome. Family and friends — even the virtual ones– are a salve to the occasional cuts of life. Thanks for reminding us all of that.

    1. Hi, Marty – The comment gods have caught up with you…and relegated you back into the spam folder! Thank you for your kind, and very articulate, words. I was touched by Barbara’s post. I am delighted to be a part of this little corner of the blogging world.

  11. Somehow I missed reading your previous post. I’m Glad to hear that you’re getting better now. Take care my dear and keep on sharing. I always look forward to reading your blog posts. Miss You💜!

  12. Joanne above captured my feelings so well. I’m one of those who feels embarrassed and don’t know what to say or do. Every time I think about the weeks you went through, my breath simply catches and I feel like I’m the one gasping for breath. I honestly don’t know how you did it – you amaze me with your strength.

    I love this little blogging community as well… the realization that different people will react to things differently and that it’s OK! I learn so much from you and the others – about accepting all types of relationships.

    And, I am also so glad you have Richard…your rock.
    Pat recently posted…Does the Gig Economy Help with Work/Life Balance?My Profile

    1. Thanks, Pat – I believe that we can get through almost anything with the true support of others. That I had one-hundred fold. I remain forever grateful!

  13. It’s so lovely to hear this Donna, you are amazing in sharing your story. It is hard to know what to say in these situations but I have learnt that showing empathy is all I can offer sometimes. I love our blogging community for their care and support. Take care x
    Debbie Harris recently posted…Share Your World – 6 June 2017My Profile

    1. Thanks, Terri – Bloggers are some of the coolest and most generous people that I know as well. Thank you for all of your kindness and thoughtfulness.

  14. As a new online friend, I value our friendship and am glad to know you and so very glad you got a clean bill of health. Hoping to share many years of friendship with you and who knows, we may actually meet in person, wouldn’t that be awesome? Thanks Donna for linking up and co-hosting at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post.
    Grammy Dee from recently posted…Blogging Grandmothers Link Party #16My Profile

    1. I look forward to many years of friendship together. And I do plan to meet you one day….at Grammy’s Grid by the Sea (or we could meet at Chez Donna near the ocean)!

  15. I’m so happy you are okay Donna. I’ve only known you such a short time but you feel like a friend to me already. It is no wonder you have received such love and support because you are a beautiful person. Thanks for co-hosting and sharing your thoughts with us at #blogginggrandmotherslinkparty. I’m so pleased I’ve met you.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond recently posted…5 quotes to inspire health and wellnessMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Sue = I am absolutely delighted that I have met you as well. I know that I have said this before, but it bears repeating. I LOVE this little corner of the blogosphere. There are some pretty amazing people here!!

  16. Donna, years ago, during a terrible time in my life, I too had the experience of an outpouring of love and support from people all around me. I don’t know how I would have made it through without the caring actions of friends, family, colleagues, and people I scarcely knew. Now, if I ever feel a moment of discouragement about the world or people’s behaviour, I just have to think back to my experience decades ago to remember, with gratitude, that deep down most people are caring and want the best for others (even if somethimes they don’t know how to express it).

    That difficult time also helped me appreciate the sweetness of life. I am so glad that you can put this scare behind you.

    Dr Sock recently posted…Being LostMy Profile

    1. Hi, Jude – This is such a powerful reflection. The kind words and caring actions of others can indeed last a lifetime. Difficult times are great teachers that help us to more fully appreciate the sweetness of life. Thank you so much for sharing this. Your words are an excellent reminder about the importance of both kindness and gratitude.

  17. Donna, I’m so glad that you are okay! And I agree, in the scope of life it is our relationships with people that matter. Everything else will turn to ashes. I am so enjoying getting to know you as a fellow blogging grandmother! Thank you for sharing this with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty!

    1. Thanks, Teresa – I have greatly appreciated getting to know you as well. I look forward to our upcoming co-hosting!

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