One is silver and the other gold

I have been posting about friends recently. No particular reason that I can point to really. It’s just that friends have been on my mind a lot recently. Is it a natural progression because I am now ankle deep in my seventies? I assume that has something to do with it, but there’s more.

People who live relatively normal lives because they are born with bodies that match their gender identity are fortunate. They generally don’t know the feeling of rejection by the people in their lives due to something beyond their control. Before you go off on a rant about having control over the issue, bear this in mind; we all have control over our actions but control over emotions is a different matter. Emotions have a life of their own, and those are what cause the most grief in the life of anyone who is born with a body that doesn’t match their emotional set.

When I finally came face to face with that unorthodox set of emotions, I also came face to face with friends, and family too, who couldn’t see beyond the appearance to the spirit behind the screen. I soon found myself faced with a sorting process. Sorting out the relationships, both new and old became a painful exercise.

I have old friends that I’ve known, literally all my life. Jeanie and I were born in the same hospital room in the Texas Panhandle in 1944. Roger I’ve known since I was 4 years old. Vince and Connie since I was 9. Denny and Candy since high school. These friends are people who have stuck with me through all the chaos of redefining my person.

Family on the other hand is an entirely different story. A sad story but true. The closer the relationship, it seems, the more difficult the process of coming to grips with who I have revealed myself to be. The 2 oldest children haven’t spoken to me since the publication of Dear Mom and Dad; each for their own reasons; misguided as I deem those reasons to be. One first cousin is understanding and accepting the other 2 have pretty much disapproved. My only brother and only sister have more or less, followed the lead of the 2 disapproving cousins. Again, each for their own reasons. So, what am I left with?

Friends! At the close of my last blog I quoted a little ditty that we used to sing at camp. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver the other gold.” If I could convert all the silver and gold I have in friendships to hard currency I could retire and live comfortably for the rest of my life. The older I get the more precious that currency becomes, and it is never more evident than when I lose one of those gold coins like I did earlier this week.

I spoke of Daryll in a Facebook entry earlier this week. Tuesday morning, last week I awoke and reached for my phone, still pretty much in a stupor, to check the time. I inadvertently dialed his number. When I realized what I’d done I immediately canceled the call. Within a minute he called me back.
We hadn’t spoken in months. I hadn’t bugged him because I assumed he was getting on with life and building his fabricating business. Over the course of our 10-year friendship, Daryll had bailed me out of trouble, mostly vehicle trouble any number of times, always coming to my rescue with a tow or a battery or tires. He even set up an online parts business for me to run at one point.

We talked for the better part of a half hour and through the conversation I learned that his health wasn’t the best; that the Arizona heat was beginning to wear him down. He talked about closing up shop here and moving to Boise Idaho next year. But, I didn’t realize how bad his condition was until first thing in the morning, the day before yesterday, when once again my phone rang and it was his name on the caller id. But it wasn’t him. It was his wife.

“Georgia, it’s Vonda. Daryll passed away on Sunday. I need your help.”

It was like a bugler blowing reveille 6 inches from my ear. Death or the reality of impending death never comes gently to any door. That is a hard reality for anyone, especially for me to face. Up to the time Marilyn died, I had never, not one single time, lost anyone close to me. Daryll was not what I would classify as close, though we shared things that few understand. But he was a solid 24 carat gold friend and his death has shaken me to the core.

His death has brought home to me the very fragile nature of life and how easily it can be shattered. It’s only been a few weeks since a member of our church family suddenly and unexplainably lost her 12-year-old son. He just became ill and died one day.

These circumstances always remind us of that fact, but how often do we awake each morning and treat everyone in our sphere with the tenderness that we would if we knew that would be the last time we would ever be together? From my own experience, I would surmise that the answer to that question would be … never. But it should be “every time” shouldn’t it?

Who is sitting next to you right this minute, on the phone with you, right this minute, that you have given the slightest thought to the possibility that it might be the very last time? Would you be saying, thinking, feeling what you are at this moment if you knew it was the last moment?

At this point in history, the radio and television ads for precious metals and the importance possessing them are as numerous as the ads for beer, maybe more numerous. So how about the next time you see or hear one of those ads, why don’t you give some thought to the silver and gold people in your life and what you need to do to make sure they know that they are safe in your heart? And, never take their presence for granted.

136 thoughts on “One is silver and the other gold

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    • This blog was originally designed by my publisher 5 years ago but Jan. 1, ’17 they shut it down. I eventually settled on wp-engine for my new blog host but the old blog had sooo many flaws in that their system was unable to complete the migration by the shut down date of 1/1/17 and they told me I would have to /find a web designer to re-design it and that I the entirety of my content was lost. I looked through the list of wp-engine recommended partners and most of them wanted way more money than I could afford except for one … http://www.pixeljar.com. They were amazing. David Margowsky not only salvage all of the “lost” files and previous 4 years of posts he was able to combine my website and my blog in one. I would highly recommend him and Pixel Jar any day.

    • The original website was designed by my publisher but had bucu problems so after 5 years they shut it down. My current site was set up by Pixel Jar and they were able to salvage every line and word from the previous posts and site. They then combined my former web site with my blog and that is what you see now. The current host is wp-engine.com.

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    • The site was originally designed by my former publisher but the blog site had a lot of flaws in it. My new provider wp-engine referred me to PixelJar who combined my web site and blog into one with the original look of the blog.

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    • I am so totally ignorant of terminology but will try to answer your question based on my limited understanding. The original site was developed by my publisher but was so totally flawed that they finally gave up and shut it down after four and half years. I found wp-engine on a list of sites recommended by WordPress. But they had a terrible time trying to migrate my existing blog and all previous posts. The finally told me to find a company to re-build the site completely. I contacted several but settled on http://www.pixeljar.com because of price. It was a fortunate choice because they did what wp-engine could not. The salvage my entire blog and also merged my regular website together. I highly recommend them.

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    • Hi, Thank you for your interest in my writing and blog. To answer your questions … My book, “Dear Mom and Dad, You Don’t Know Me, But …” is available as an e[book, currently through iUniverse Publishing but soon to be re-released by TopLink Publishing. Other than my book and my blog I not published elsewhere although my blog entries are simultaneously published each time on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to visit with you about contributing to your blog. georgialeemcgowen@cox.net

    • Thank you for your compliment. By “theme” I assume you mean the graphics in the header. That is actually a portion of the cover of my memoir, “Dear Mom and Dad, You Don’t Know Me, But …” The cover idea came from a group of suggestions from my publisher as a result of an excerpt from a letter I wrote to my parents from camp when I was 8 years old.

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