Last night I got a phone call from my old schoolmate Joyce.
Joyce and I went to England together after our graduation from Hong Kong University in 1954. We traveled on S.S.Asia, from Hong Kong to Italy. And from Italy, we went on an overnight train to Calais; then crossed the English Channel to Dover; and then, rode a train to London.
We stayed at Joyce's aunt's place in London for a couple of weeks.
You remember the story about us washing her antique vase by mistake?
You are not supposed to WASH the dust off antiques!
We did not know.
We were two ignorant and silly girls!
Her aunt did not get made at us. She forgave us. What a Sport!
Joyce, my friend from sixty some years ago.
Joyce now lives in Australia with her husband, Ernie.
I was so thrilled to hear her voice.
Joyce and her family were refugees from Shanghai, like me and my family in 1948-9. Joyce is part English, part German, part French, part Asian, and part I don't know what. Me, I am pure "Han", Chinese.
Joyce could speak Chinese as well as I could.
We became good friends at the University.
After I moved to the U.S., we kept in touch all these years.
Isn't that great?
Joyce and I never had any words. We respect each other.
It was so good to hear her voice.
We talked, and we talked.
We filled each other in on all the news relating to our old school mates, etc.
She wanted to know how I like my new life and so on.
There was such warmth in her caring voice and I was so touched.
Since I came to the Conservatory, I have received many cards, letters, phone calls, messages, and such from my friends in Ada, Oklahoma. They all wished me well and wanted to know how my new life is.
Some of them, I did not think that I knew that well.
Yes, I do have lot more friends than I realized.
I used to be quite cynical about that aspects of life. I used to say that I had many acquaintances but not really many friends. Which is probably true for most people, if you think about it.
What is a friend?
A friend is someone who likes you for whom you are.
A friend is honest with you in all aspects of your relationship.
A friend tells you the truth even though you may not like to hear it.
A friend is someone who comes to your rescue if you need help.
A friend is someone who can disagree with you but still talks to you.
A friend does not have to see or talk to you everyday, but he or she is there for you if you need him or her.
A friend does not take advantages of you in any way.
A friend is there for Life.
I am lucky that I have many friends.
I am also lucky that I am making new friends.
I wish you the same!