The following poem, A Familiar Deprivation, is dedicated to the late Eve Welsh because she was a very important part of my life.  Initially, she was my Cardiac Home Care patient who became my dear friend.  Eve was cheerful and fun and through the years, thought of me as more of a daughter than a Visiting Nurse. She had a son in Colorado and a severely physically and emotionally disabled daughter who lived with her.  I found sparkles in her eyes that were meant for me.  Eve listened to my dreams and I listened to her heartaches. She respected me and liked me.  We laughed together and cried together and shared a special bond of understanding each other’s hearts. When my dad passed away, Eve surprised me by attending my father’s wake, showing heart-felt concern for me at my loss. By that time, she was on in age and had significant physical ailments of her own but she purposed to drive there in the evening in the rainy, cold Northeast weather.  We had developed a close bond and treasured friendship and we remained friends until her death.
     The person in the following poem was a patient in Assisted Living whose eyes met mine one day, exactly the way the poem describes.  Her name was Eunice:  her emptiness in life stemmed from the fact that she never bore a child.  Eunice told me her story.  Of course, I had my losses and kept them to myself.  One day, though, we glanced knowingly into each other’s eyes…and knew, without words that we had experienced a deep sense of devastation…we call it…deprivation…and though different, it was deprivation just the same.
Sometimes, there’s a matching of the souls
A meeting of the hearts
As though a moment in time stands still
And you see in each other’s eyes
A familiar deprivation…
You ache and grieve and turn
Face to face
Eye to eye
You know ~
Feel each other’s heartache…
And smile, embrace, and go on!

     Today, there are a few friends with whom I share the same respect and affection.  One is  MaryLou.  She is very dear to me.  She has a gentle way, a beautiful smile, silver gray hair and she listens to me as I speak…We go places and do things together and have fun!   MaryLou’s and my interests are the same:  we like to go antiquing, clothes shopping, antiquing again and  we love to laugh together because we find the same things funny!  Everything I say is important to her and what she says is important to me…what a delightful person to spend time with!

Another dear friend is Cheryl.  Cheryl and I share our love for our Savior.  We talk for hours about His love and grace and the way the Lord has directed and is continuing to direct our lives.  What a priceless treasure to find a friend who loves the Lord as you do and whose heart understands yours!  We are like-minded and find joy in serving the Lord:  Cheryl ministers to the homeless in our community and is also involved in introducing the Word of God to individuals and groups by way of a pocket-sized Gospel of John, obtained through the Pocket Testament League, which is a ministry of which my husband Vincent and I are also a part.

      The Lord  gives us friends…friends who delight us ~ friends who light our way, friends who are dear and friends who are near.  Friendship is a joy to share!   Proverbs 18:24  states:  “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.  But there is a friend  who sticks closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 17:17  says,  “A friends loves at all times.”   And Colossians 4:6 :  “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
     Dear Father,
We thank you for the many blessings in our lives.  We thank you, especially for bringing dear ones into our lives who bless us and share life’s bounty and life’s want,  with us.  Thank you for their compassion.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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