Due to some temporary circumstances, I have recently been more on the receiving rather than the giving end of friendship. Many people prefer to serve rather than receive, and find it difficult to receive help due to a sense of pride or independence or because they don't want to be a burden on their friends. I felt some of those feelings, but have also found some unexpected benefits in allowing others to serve me when I needed help. When one of my friends came over to paint a long wall that I was physically incapable of painting, I enjoyed several hours of discussion with her and some playtime with her daughter, and a strengthened friendship. When I was in the ER into the early hours of the morning a few days ago, friends took turns staying with me to make sure I was receiving the care I needed and to keep my family up to date. One took me into her home for what was left of the night just in case I needed help. Again, there were unexpected hours to catch up and chat with friends, even though it wasn't the best of circumstances. I also learned how many people care. I have received dinners from a few and sincere offers of help from many others. While I hope these circumstances soon end and I can go back to a more even reciprocity of giving and receiving, I am grateful for all those who have helped and offered to help, and for the friendships that are stronger as a result.