Friendship is the glue that holds the fabric of life together. On the darkest day or the brightest evening, friends are there to share the moments of your life. Big, small, boisterous or quiet. None are so special if a friend isn't present.
True friends teach you to cook when you're a new bride starving your shiny new husband to death. They take you grocery shopping, teach you about meats and spices, and carry the groceries up three flights of stairs. Thank you Dorian. My husband thanks you, too!
When you're tired from far too little sleep, depressed from far too little money, and overwhelmed by all the difficulties of dealing with "special" children, true friends show up to help you clean your house, or drop by with groceries to get you past the hump, or throw you a surprise shower for that totally unexpected fourth baby that's on the way. Thank you Elaine, Vicky, Bernie, and Marie.
The day comes when you are bleeding out and terrified of the surgery you need to save your life and on that day a true friend holds your hand and prays for your health and safety. Thank you Joyce B (TX). I never told you what that meant to me. Nor did I tell you what a wonderful gift it was when you invited my husband and kids for Thanksgiving so I could take that week of rest at my parents' home. I'm pretty sure you saved my sanity--and possibly my life.
Life moves one and so did my family. We lived in a strange new place with the life experiences time brings--both good and bad. And when the really bad times came three true friends held my hand through it all. I asked one of them when will I stop crying? And she said, "When you're ready." She was right, of course, because she'd been there. Thank you Joyce B (NY), Janice and Terry. It was worth it all in the end, wasn't it?
I moved again. Seems like I'm always moving on, leaving the wonderful friends behind. I met a new neighbor who took me into her heart. Isn't that a blessing? A true friend can say any darn thing to you because they trust you. Trust is a gift not to be lightly squandered or disrespected. I know that this friend will tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Thank you Jane.
I wrote a book and with a trembling heart sent it off to a publisher. When it was accepted, I was astonished and amazed. But my entire array of friends weren't. True friends share your excitement--even if they're uncomfortable reading what you wrote. Yes, they are and I respect that discomfort because they were honest about it. It pleases me that though they've never read a word I've written, they still ask how things are going. And they still celebrate the good reviews.
In the great ocean of writers, I'm a very small frog. Yet, I've been welcomed as though I occupied the biggest lily pad out there. Everyday I'm stunned by the wealth of information and advice that they willingly share. There are no geographical boundaries with the technological age...no time zones that matter. In the truest sense friendship is global. My newest friends span the globe--Egypt, Australia, New York, Michigan, Kansas, Indiana, California, and Hawaii. They patiently critique my writing with painful but true honesty because they want to see me present my best work. That is a priceless gift beyond measure. You know who you are. Yes, you do.
True friendship is buying and shipping Tim Tams (Australian cookies) across the globe, just because. It wasn't cheap (stop rolling your eyes, Amarinda! I saw the postage!), but that wasn't the important part. The important part was the just because. No birthday. No special day. Just because. Nothing says "special" more than that.
You could look at this list and say, what about the guys? Aren't there any guy friends? And what about family? Well, certainly in my lifetime, there have been some wonderful men who were there, usually going above and beyond any measure of responsibility. Orlando, Carroll, John, Gary, and Don. Life would have been so much tougher if you hadn't been there pitching in. Tracking down the new bride and groom who forgot about the rehearsal dinner. Dousing me with Coke when the battery blew up all over me. Packing (and moving) my daughter's entire apartment when she had to move overnight...
As for family... It is a blessed woman who's family are also friends. Such is not always the case. I am blessed past capacity--full measure and overflowing. Thank you, my friends, one and all.
Friendship of course is not a one way street. It is the give and take of support, sympathy, encouragement, love, laughter, and tears. It is a terrifying drive to the hospital in an emergency. It's a surprise anniversary party. It's a leisurely afternoon meal at a new restaurant. It's an encouraging word in the face of depression. Most of all, it's simply being there.