The Colors of Our Lives
Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8:28AM
Eularee in Wise, againg, diabetes, friends, heart disease

I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with three old friends. The word old does not refer to their age, although all of us are sixty plus. The term, in this case, refers to the length of time we have been and remain friends.

I have many acquaintances and colleagues. I enjoy their company and the work that we do. But at the end of the day, we go our separate ways, home to families, pets, husbands, wives, significant others. At the end of the day our interaction is over and the work is for the most part, laid down until the next time we meet.

With these three friends, we meet on occasion and rarely for more than a couple of hours. But what is accomplished in the window of time, encompasses a lifetime. Like quilt pieces, our lives have been stitched together creating a kaleidoscope of tragedies and triumphs. We look to each other for a sense of stability in an ever changing world.

Sure we acknowledge our aging faces, bodies, hair and lack there of, but the laughter that follows is genuine. One of our cohorts is having serious heart problems and suffers from diabetes. He jokes amicably about not liking vegetables and the challenges of being able to eat meat but no potatoes. Another remarks about how soon she could be living on the street or in my back bedroom. And the other talks of striking out yet again in the romance department and being out of work in the coming months.

As I look around the table, I realize when I walked through the door I felt tired, old, looking only for the moment when the long day would end. But as the night wore on I felt energized by the power of grey. The wisdom of ages transcended the work day, the hassles, problems and crisis'. We are, at once, young again or perhaps it is just that feeling of youth that says you are invincible.

I won't deny there was some alcohol involved in the course of merriment. But the smile on my face as we walked out into the rainy night was from the contagion at the table. An infusion as viral as any Youtube video. Old friends, true friends, who know you to your very core and yet remain a constant reminder that life is to be lived, not denied or held back. We ate, drank and were merry. And when we went our separate ways, we were healthier, wealthier and wiser than when we walked through the door. We are permanent members of the mental health club.

Image: Google Images, Van Tiny Koppens (Creative Commons)

Article originally appeared on Eularee Smith • Writer & Educator in Eugene, Oregon (
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