I think it’s only in the past year or so that I have truly begun to understand the importance of vocally and practically showing appreciation and thanks for those who have been there for you and have made a positive impact in your life. These thoughts were usually things that I held dear to my heart. However as I was thinking of what I wanted to write to end the year, and struggling between a self-indulgent poem and a random short story, it struck me that if there was one lasting impression that this entire year has had on me, it’s one of overwhelming gratefulness. And aside from thanking God, first and foremost who has been the orchestrator of every good thing, He has most definitely placed some exceptional people in my life, new and old, who he has used to give me in abundance a lot of what I don’t deserve; love, peace, understanding, comedy, a listening ear, encouragement, chastisement (yes!), wisdom and education.
So this is a thank you to the old friends who with every passing year, the bonds of friendship don’t shred into frayed ends that will never meet again, but marinate like the finest wines; every precious drop one of goodness, bringing sensations of pleasure and joy from even the most momentary of meet-ups or conversations. Sometimes I can’t really put into words how much your continued fidelity to our relationship despite distance, long periods of non-communication, or just busy lives, means to me, but today I will boldly declare that you are loved, never forgotten, always being prayed for, and valued more than you can imagine.
And this is a thank you to the friends I’ve made this year, whether by social media, mutual friends, work, or just random encounters. What a diverse lot of people you are! Some of you appear to have been born excelling from the day you sprang out of your mother’s womb(you probably started speaking at 4 months, walking at 6 months, back-flipping by 9 months); the overwhelming talent just takes my breath away, yet the way you sometimes don’t believe in yourself just leaves me utterly dumbfounded. You’re amazing, whether the world thinks so or not. God said so and His report is the one that actually counts. Some of you are underground sages; you laugh and joke a lot, but underneath it all there is serious substance and maturity to your character that is beyond your years, and I have learnt more than a thing or two from you and have respected you all the more for it. Others of you are the most genuinely sensitive, caring, agenda-less and encouraging people I know. You’re not afraid to express dismay at tripping over one of life’s hurdles, but before you have even had time to dwell on the negatives, you have encouraged yourself and found optimism and faith, and it’s that same determination to prevail that you sow into my life. Malice is a stranger to your tongue; all you have for myself or anyone else is genuine encouragement. There’s not a hint fakeness about it. You’re the kind of people who everyone needs in their lives. I appreciate you immensely. Some of you are freelance comedians, raising havoc wherever you open your mouth(the good kind) and I have laughed till I thought my insides would rupture and bleed. You’ve mocked my existence many times but I secretly love it, and respect the pedigree banter and wit you inject into my days. I know that you are more than that though, and I appreciate the various other ways in which the other components of your characters manifest.
Some of you are all these things and some of you are not, but every one of you have more sides to you than my simple words can ever portray. Suffice to say, to me, there is no differentiation between what you mean to me and what my ‘old’ friends mean to me. For you too are loved, never forgotten, always being prayed for, and valued more than you can imagine.
Thank you all, for all the love, laughter, inspiration, fellowship, prayers and so much more you have all brought into my life this year, and I pray to God to help me return the favour.
Much Love, God Bless and a Happy New Year from,