Monday mornings usually come all wrapped up in a sense of depression and anti-climax, don’t they? This Monday morning is no different, except in terms of how much worse than normal these anti-climactic feelings are.
But don’t be concerned. Everything is all right – just about.
All this emotion is a result of (another) surprise party, which was held at the weekend to mark my younger brother’s 30th birthday. It was a wonderful night, attended by friends and family from all over the country and even further afield – one very determined partygoer came all the way from Tobago! – but the best part was that my brother had no idea it was going to happen. It was a huge effort to keep it secret, but everyone managed to pull together and the whole thing worked like a dream. My brother’s fiancée is a miracle-worker. Most of the hard work and organisation fell to her, and she did a marvellous job. It was such a great party that it’s hard to cope with the fact that it’s all over, and there’s nothing to look forward to any more – but we’ll just have to soldier on.
One of the best parts of the night was seeing my brother’s friends again, all the people I remember from his life as he grew up. I hadn’t seen some of them for years, and it was great to see them all again, all of them making their own way in the world and succeeding in their own fields. I was struck once more by how nice my brother’s friends are, and how friendly and supportive (not to mention kind and generous) a bunch of people they are. My brother was amazed by the amount of people who made the effort to attend, and he couldn’t believe so many people actually wanted to be there for him as he marked this milestone in his life. Of course, nobody who loves him was surprised. My brother is a beautiful person, and he is loved far more than he realises, I suspect.
Some of my own friends also attended the party, and I also had a welcome chance to catch up with several others during the day. My husband and I couldn’t turn up at my parents’ house, of course, in case my brother would get a hint that something out of the ordinary was happening, so we had to take refuge in the home of one of my best friends until it was time to get ready for the party. My friend very generously accommodated us (and even cooked us dinner!) and gave us so much tea that we left her house in a faint caffeine haze, which was fantastic. My brother isn’t the only one with wonderful and brilliant friends.
I have often had reason to be thankful for the loving and selfless support given by my friends – there have been things I’ve faced in my life which would have overwhelmed me if not for the solid and dependable bunch of friends I’m lucky enough to have behind me. I’ve had most of them since I was a teenager, so we’re really starting to clock up the years now. My bridesmaid at my wedding was a friend who has been a central part of my life for over twenty-five years! Of course, it’s not all about the support they give me; I hope that I’ve given back as much love and help as I’ve received, and I hope they’d consider me as good a friend as I consider them. (They still want to hang out with me, so I hope that’s a good sign.)
There’s nothing in life that can’t be overcome if you have the steady hand of a friend to hold, and there are few joys which can compare to making and keeping good and loving friends. I have an abundance of blessings when it comes to my friends, and I’m hugely grateful for all of my friendships. So, to all those I’m lucky enough to know as a friend – thank you!