There is no magic formula for friendship. The bond that unites friends is as mysterious as it is certain.
If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.
Michel de Montaigne
True friends imprint their essences on each other’s souls. Even as your tears and laughter recede into the swirling mists of memories lost, the heart holds dear every unspoken expression of love that passed between you.
When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.
Carla Meyers, my mother’s very best friend, passed away on Thursday, February 18, 2010 after a five-year struggle with ovarian cancer. Carla, who had just turned fifty-seven the month before, leaves behind her loving and attentive husband, Greg, and two gifted college-age children, Elissa and Andy.
Carla, my mom Sandy and my sister Cyn shared many wonderful memories together over the past twenty years. My mom feels grateful and blessed that she was able to stay with Carla and Greg for three weeks last month caring for them both as Carla’s condition worsened and Greg was recovering from hip surgery.
In a testament to Carla’s boundless courage and endless grace in accepting and facing the inevitable, Cyn wrote the following lovely tribute to Carla.
Being Carla’s friend over the years has been a joy and a privilage, but it’s the way she lived her life since her diagnosis that has re-taught me a lesson I should have learned a long time ago. I had just graduated high school, and my reward was a trip to California to visit relatives. One cousin had invited me to join his family on a camping trip in Yosemite, and I was pretty gung ho.
A couple of miles into the hike, and I was less so. My new hiking boots were rubbing my ankles raw with each passing step, and the cousins, tired of my slow pace, moved up the trail without me. I was hot, I was hurting, I was lightheaded from the altitude, and I was alone. I was hiking on a path though an open meadow, thinking how truly horrible my life was.
And that’s when I saw the bear.
It was some yards away, at the treeline, and in that instant, all those other problems disappeared, and my whole world was me and the bear. I froze, and after what seemed like much longer than it must have been, the bear turned and lumbered back into the forest. I should have learned the lesson that day, that until you see the bear, life isn’t really so bad after all. But I was eighteen, self-involved and had a whole lot more to learn.
Carla saw the bear more than five years ago, and unlike me, she looked it straight in the eye and told it to back off. And this being Carla Meyers, the bear did—not back into the forest, but only to the tree line so it could match her step for step on her path. Imagine what that must be like; waking every day and facing your own mortality. Even with the bear in constant view, Carla continued to live her life and find the joy, through surgery after surgery, through one invasive procedure after another, year after year after year. But time and tide and bears wait for no one, not even an extraordinary woman like Carla Meyers.
I know there’s still a bear out there with my name on it, and when the time comes I can only hope I face it with half of her will and grace and humor. But until then, Carla has taught me to focus on the bliss and not the blisters.
Click here to view all my posts about dealing courageously with cancer.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.