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That's What Friends Do

Discussion in 'Inspirational Stories' started by poundsasson, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. poundsasson

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    Oct 11, 2006
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       That's What Friends Do
        By T. Suzanne Eller

    Jack tossed the papers on my desk? his eyebrows knit into a
    straight line as he glared at me. "What's wrong?" I asked. He
    jabbed a finger at the proposal. "Next time you want to change
    anything, ask me first," he said, turning on his heels and
    leaving me stewing in anger.

    'How dare he treat me like that,' I thought. I had changed one
    long sentence, and corrected grammar, something I thought I was
    paid to do. It's not that I hadn't been warned. Other women
    who had worked my job before me called Jack names I couldn't

    One coworker took me aside the first day. "He's personally
    responsible for two different secretaries leaving the firm,"
    she whispered.

    As the weeks went by, I grew to despise Jack. His actions made
    me question much that I believed in, such as turning the other
    cheek and loving your enemies. Jack quickly slapped a verbal
    insult on any cheek turned his way. I prayed about the
    situation, but to be honest, I wanted to put Jack in his place,
    not love him.

    One day another of his episodes left me in tears. I stormed
    into his office, prepared to lose my job if needed, but not
    before I let the man know how I felt. I opened the door and
    Jack glanced up. "What?" he asked abruptly. Suddenly I knew
    what I had to do.

    After all, he deserved it. I sat across from him and said
    calmly, "Jack, the way you've been treating me is wrong. I've
    never had anyone speak to me that way.

    As a professional, it's wrong, and I can't allow it to
    continue." Jack snickered nervously and leaned back in his
    chair. I closed my eyes briefly. 'God help me,' I prayed.

    "I want to make you a promise. I will be a friend," I said. "I
    will treat you as you deserve to be treated, with respect and
    kindness. You deserve that. Everybody does." I slipped out
    of the chair and closed the door behind me.

    Jack avoided me the rest of the week. Proposals, specs, and
    letters appeared on my desk while I was at lunch, and my
    corrected versions were not seen again. I brought cookies to
    the office one day and left a batch on his desk.

    Another day I left a note. "Hope your day is going great," it
    read. Over the next few weeks, Jack reappeared. He was
    reserved, but there were no other episodes.

    Coworkers cornered me in the break room. "Guess you got to
    Jack," they said. "You must have told him off good." I shook
    my head. "Jack and I are becoming friends," I said in faith.

    I refused to talk about him. Every time I saw Jack in the hall,
    I smiled at him. After all, that's what friends do. One year
    after our "talk," I discovered I had breast cancer.

    I was thirty- two, the mother of three beautiful young children,
    and scared. The cancer had metastasized to my lymph nodes and
    the statistics were not great for long-term survival.

    After my surgery, friends and loved ones visited and tried to
    find the right words. No one knew what to say, and many said
    the wrong things. Others wept, and I tried to encourage them. I
    clung to hope myself.

    One day, Jack stood awkwardly in the doorway of my small,
    darkened hospital room. I waved him in with a smile. He walked
    over to my bed and without a word placed a bundle beside me.
    Inside the package lay several bulbs. "Tulips," he said. I
    grinned, not understanding. He shuffled his feet, then cleared
    his throat.

    "If you plant them when you get home, they'll come up next
    spring. I just wanted you to know that I think you'll be
    there to see them when they come up." Tears clouded my eyes
    and I reached out my hand. "Thank you," I whispered. Jack
    grasped my hand and gruffly replied, "You're welcome. You
    can't see it now, but next spring you'll see the colors I
    picked out for you. I think you'll like them."

    He turned and left without another word. For ten years, I have
    watched those red-and-white striped tulips push their way
    through the soil every spring. In a moment when I prayed for
    just the right word, a man with very few words said all the
    right things. After all, that's what friends do.


    Reprinted by permission of T. Suzanne Eller (c) 2001 from Chicken
    Soup for the Christian Woman's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
    Hansen, Patty Aubery, Nancy Autio and LeAnn Thieman.
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  3. khoobkhalsa

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    Oct 21, 2006
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  4. TanuRani

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    Jun 6, 2006
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    wow..that's so touchin..sometimes i guess..u cant tell wat the person is like...inside
  5. HannahBanana

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    Sep 12, 2006
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    That is amazing. Made me go teary eyed. People can surprise you.
  6. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Mentor Writer SPNer

    Oct 6, 2006
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    An enemy becoming a friend is one thing that gives hope to our lives.

    A beautiful story.

    Something like that happened to me once, only I was the nasty person treated kindly.

    I hope I learned my lesson.

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