I received a thoughtful email today. It inspired me to write this blog, so that I could share it with you too. I’d like to acknowledge my caring friend, Ellie, as the source of this, and for her perpetual cheer. Here goes…

Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character? How is it possible that I can get along with all of them? I think that each one helps to bring out a “different” part of me. With one of them, I am polite. With another, I joke. With a different one, I can be a bit naughty. I can sit down and talk about serious matters with one.  With another person, I laugh a lot. I listen to one friend’s problems, then I take note of another’s advice for me.

My friends are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When combined, they form a unique and colorful mosaic that I am proud to be a part of!

These are people who understand me better than I understand myself. They’re friends who support me through good times and bad.

Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health. Dr. Oz calls them Vitamin F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well being. Research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk of depression, terminal strokes and other health ailments. If you enjoy Vitamin F frequently, you can be up to 20 years younger than your real age! The warmth of friendship reduces stress and can even decrease the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%!  I’m grateful that I have a lifetime supply of Vitamin F!

This Vitamin F “booster shot” today made me reflect on my relationships, past and present. As I note in my book’s Acknowledgements, and as I did at The ARC Fun(d)raiser last year, I am reminded how fortunate that I am to have so many people that I can call friends. Without these people over the years, I don’t know how Jim and I would have survived all of the difficult challenges that we encountered. I am sure that it is with their love, support and prayers that we made it through those life threatening traumas.

 I hope that our story will encourage you to be a good friend to someone who needs you at some point in your life too! Our story will inspire you to see just how powerful friendship and caring is.  My wish is that my book will pay it forward to others now.