Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Makes A Friend

Eloise Hardman was the first secretary of Project Lost Sheep. She came to the first meeting because I had been telling her of this group to help the children, but mainly she came because she was my friend although decades older.

In this era of instant communications I remember things about her for those who might want a real friend.

First, she had time for me. That might seem a strange thing to note but I remember sitting in her living room in Palo Alto and her sitting across from me not rushed. I had three young children and the delight of sitting with an adult who listened to me was wonderful.

Give the gift of time.

A friend will listen. I bet I bored her at times, but she never bored me because she talked about books she had read, her bonsai, some of her adventures. She also asked and followed with real interest the progress of my children.

And so in the night of question, she became the first secretary of the board. "I can take minutes," she said, "but I don't do the computer." She was about 80 years old at the time. Here she was willing to do the job for a new group and be part of something new.

At her service in that same room a number of years later, there were around 50 people. I was astonished at how many friends she had made and maintained. She gave people her time and her attention and so she grew a garden of love around her.

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