Life throws “lemons” at us from time to time. We resent the sour presence. We wouldn’t have chosen that particular fruit for our basket of life. But they inevitably appear. The lemons in my basket have ranged between having a child born with a crippling birth defect to moving and consequently inheriting an hour commute to work. Troubles in our life range from life changing to a bothersome annoyance.
Both can cause resentment or bitterness. When I am served with a lemon, it becomes my choice what I will do with it. I can wallow in my misery and disappointment-which will lead to what I refer to as ‘stinkin thinking’. In those cases I paint myself into a corner where I sit alone immobilized by my refusal to embrace what has entered my life.
The lemon, left to its own devices, is sour. However, once we add other ingredients, the lemon takes on a new flavor. It can become lemonade, or it can become Allie’s Summer Breeze. Either way, I had to actively engage with the lemon and add other ingredients to manage the lemon’s sour affect. So it is with life. My response to the challenging events that barge into my peaceful domain are managed by my decision on how to handle the lemon. If I am skillful enough with my bartender skills, I move from an isolated corner to a room having a party.
“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…and try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” Ron White
“Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.” Denis Waitley
Each year we sing, “Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday dear Faye and Kaye, happy birthday to us!” Being an identical twin means sharing your birthday. For us, it generally meant sharing our birthday cake.
Today we celebrate our birthday. Kaye has a swimming pool. I will don my suit, coverup, and my old black flip flops. When I bought those simple black flip flops I thought I would wear them only at the pool. But they have proven so comfortable, they accompany me on most of my summer days.
We will celebrate life, and our survival of it, with each other. I will think that she is old and that I am wise. She will think that I am old and that she is wise. Then we will open two bottles of wine; for she likes white and I like red. Wine doesn’t exactly go with German Sweet Chocolate cake-our favorite-so maybe neither one of us is wise. But we are old, and we know how to have fun.
“Tod, that Copper is going to come back a hunting dog, a real killer.”
“Oh no, not my friend Copper. He won’t ever change…And we will keep on being friends forever.”
“Darling, forever is a long, long, time, and time has a way of changing things.”
Exchange between Big Mama and Young Tod in “The Fox and the Hound”
I took my young son to see that Disney movie. He had a very best friend at the time. He felt they would be friends forever. Not many months after we watched the movie, we moved. They have not spoken to each other since.
What makes a friend? Shared experiences? Perhaps when people lived in the same neighborhood there was more of a phenomenon of life-long friends. But people are very transient today. Our own family is split from the west coast of California to the east coast of New York. I have had numerous ‘best friends’ over the years. At the time we lived close to each other, shared the same lifestyle, and enjoyed our time together. Over the years I have moved to from coast to coast. I have friends in many cities. I could stop by and have a drink-catch up for a while. But I do not talk to them very often. Can I call them best friends?
I do have one life-long friend. My twin sister. We have lived miles apart, and we have lived close together. During the worst days of my life-she was there. She believed I would make it through. During the worst days of her life-I was there. I encouraged her that she would make it through.
When I read what Leo Buscaglia said, “A single rose can be my garden…a single friend, my world.”, I think of my twin and how she has sweetened the fragrance of my life.