Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friendship by Beth Hoffman

Beth Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt; foreign rights have sold to Italy, France, Germany, Israel, Poland, and Korea. Hardcover is on sale now, and the paperback will be released on October 26, 2010. For a list of Beth’s upcoming author events you can visit her website: You can also find her on Twitter (@wordrunner).  

Beth grew up on a farm in Ohio and now lives in a quaint historical district in Kentucky with her husband and several furry, four-legged children. She loves animals, feeding the birds, gardening, and laughing with friends. She’s also a self-proclaimed nut for handbags.

Friendship by Beth Hoffman

Where would we be without friendship? From time to time I’ve pondered that question, and my answer is always the same—a big fat nowhere!

I think friends are the unexpected diamonds in life. One of the themes in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is the importance of cultivating and maintaining meaningful friendships. When I made the decision to leave my career in interior design in order to write a novel, I wanted friendship to play a vital role along with themes of mother/daughter relationships, loss, anger, laughter, joy, and forgiveness.

CeeCee lives the first 12 years of her life trying to hide from the curious stares and snickers of neighbors and the hurtful teasing from her classmates. But with a psychotic mother who parades around town wearing a tattered old prom dress and a tiara, it’s impossible. Early in life CeeCee develops a strong friendship with an elderly neighbor woman who is her only confidante. It is this one friendship that gives CeeCee ballast. But when tragedy blows off the door of CeeCee’s fragile world, she must leave her friend when she’s sent to live with a relative in Savannah.

As the story unfolds, CeeCee’s longing for a friend is illuminated. When Oletta Jones, a middle aged African-American cook arrives in CeeCee’s life, not only does Oletta become CeeCee’s unlikely friend, but she teaches her that friends can come in all ages and colors, and can also be from different cultures. CeeCee becomes enormously important to Oletta as well, and their unusual friendship is as easy as breathing and yet profound in its depth and complexity.

Like CeeCee, I’ve enjoyed friendships with women from all walks of life, and one of the things I know from experience is that the more diverse our friends are in age, race, and culture, the more enriched our lives become. Friendship is one of my favorite classes in this great University of Life—I believe that through our friends we expand our values and strengths. I have girlfriends who are two decades older than me and two decades younger, and they all have opened my eyes and heart in immeasurable ways.
An email was forwarded to me not long ago. I have no idea who wrote the passage I’m sharing, but it sums up what I feel about friendship.

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Love waxes and wanes.
Hearts break.
Careers end.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Marriages collapse.

But ...

Girlfriends are there no matter how many miles are between them. A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it for yourself, your girlfriends will be standing on the rim, cheering for you, praying for you, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they’ll even break the rules and walk beside you. Or, they’ll come in and carry you out.

The world wouldn't be the same without them, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible happiness and sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.


Michele Shaw said...

Beautiful post! So true. I'd be lost without friends, and treasure them more with each passing year.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

me, too, Michele. I have started to hang onto my friends with a vice grip these days and constantly tell them I adore them. At this point in my life, I realized that distance, differences, etc, are not good reasons to let people slip away. :)

Karen said...

Hey Girlfriends! Beth, authentic friendships are such an important theme in life-the support we get and give. Thank you for the beautiful words, you certainly are one of my diamonds :-)

Rebecca, I know what you mean about distance, differences etc. Authentic friendships do not know the meaning of limits. I find that so, so, soooooo comforting. We live differently when we feel someone has our back!

Love and Blessings,

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

What a beautiful blog, but then again, Beth Hoffman is a beautiful person!

Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews said...

What a beautiful blog, but then again, Beth Hoffman is a beautiful person!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

I know exactly what you mean, Sharon! Beauty from beauty :)

Beth Hoffman said...

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Rebecca. It was an honor.

And thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to read my post about friendship!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

I have been blessed to have you here today, Beth!

Dot said...

Just beautiful, Beth. A reminder to all of us to make time in our busy lives for our friends. Thank you.

~Cheryl said...

RE-read and enjoyed this post so much the more! How true of friends who are like 'diamonds' and 'cheerleaders'...We need them!

"These are the days when Birds come back/a very few/a Bird or two/to take a backward look."

"These are the days when Birds come back/a very few/a Bird or two/to take a backward look."