The Ties That Bind
(Written last week before we departed Shanghai. Now back in St. Louis preparing for Killer Summer publication next week. Tweeting on RidleyTheWriter)
We mustn't ever lose track of friendship in our lives. As our family prepares to leave Shanghai after a year in residence, we are forced to say goodbye to two wonderful women who have made our life here so effortless and enjoyable. One, our housekeeper, has become such a member of the family that my wife and I are overly emotional at just the idea of saying goodbye. It is impossible to think we may never see this woman again. She has become that close to us.
As we looked to help her to someday visit us in the US, the impediments were many. Celebrate a free society, it's a real blessing. But it's just another in a long string of reminders these past few months of the human importance of friendship--how we so often take it for granted without meaning to.
So (to proselytize) take a moment today to call or email your friends and remind them how much they mean to you. Contact that cousin you've fallen out of touch with. Celebrate life. It is fleeting. And too often we look back and wish we'd had the chance to tell someone how influential or important or meaningful they are or were to us. Now is that chance. Now is that time.
Who knows? You may never get back to Shanghai...
* * *
One last look down a lane (our lane) of memories (instead of memory lane...)
In case my Internet was occasionally spotty... here is a look at our phone and electric lines on the outside of our house:
And of course, a person needs a way to get the duffel bags to the corner. Our gate keeper loaned me the community carrier... (vintage 1940's by the way, and still going, like EVERYTHING in Shanghai).
(posted from St Louis)