Friendship

The first person that I ever called “friend” lives just half an hour away from me now. When we first knew each other we lived right next door with a sidewalk that separated our houses by about five feet. We could literally open our bedroom windows and talk to each other, and we did. Our second and third grade selves swooned over Davy Jones and chilled out to The Beatles. We hung out with the neighborhood kids until dark on summer nights, doing a whole lot of nothing. It was a great life.

That's me on the left, with my friend.  We are standing in front of her house.  My house is in the background, so you can see how close our houses were.

That’s me on the left, with my friend, probably about 1967. We are standing in front of her house. My house is in the background, so you can see how close our houses were.

Then my family moved away, and I eventually lost touch with my very first friend. But there are some very good reasons to love social media and this is one of them: we reconnected on Facebook, and that’s how I know she still lives in our old hometown. She somehow unearthed this photo of the two of us and posted it, and we really MUST find a time to get together. Even though it’s just half an hour away, it sometimes seems daunting because life gets far too busy. But it shouldn’t. Not for friends.

When I pause to count blessings, I am overwhelmed by the truly wonderful women I am lucky to have as friends. Some are people I grew up with and we have been friends for over four decades. These people know more about me than some members of my own family. Sometimes, I think they know more about me than I even know myself. But they are not telling, because friends keep each others secrets. Since one member of our little group lives pretty far away now, I will drop everything to spend just a little time with her when she is in the area. Luckily, one of those times is coming up!

I am fortunate to have friends whose children have grown up with my children, friends I have worked with, and friends I have met through other friends. The past couple of weekends I paused from my otherwise intense spring home and yard chores to have coffee with friends: two separate occasions with two separate friends. One lives locally and we see each other occasionally, but it was really special to have some one-on-one time. The other lives in the area, but we really don’t get much time together since she moved an hour and a half away, so it was great to catch up. These opportunities to catch up on our kids, our interests, or our jobs are just cathartic. These shared moments are nothing special, and everything special, all at the same time.

I could spend a lot of time analyzing the key ingredients for friendship, but honestly that’s just a waste of time. The older I get, the more I realize that the really important thing is to just be together once in a while. There is no need to analyze everything. We can just let friendship be what it is.

So….to my very first friend…watch your Facebook message box. I’m throwing some dates out to you. We can have lunch, or coffee, or just take a walk. But we WILL reconnect in person. Soon.

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