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Friendships

Best friends are forever. Growing up as an army brat lends itself to a very lonesome childhood with no lifelong friends and not much contact with extended family.
 

Friendships come and go throughout life; move after move from one city to the next. New ones gained while established ones left behind and long forgotten. After a certain age, I can count  my “best” friends on one hand. In my case, three fingers.

Friendships: The Life Cycle Often Narrows to Three or Less

I impressed upon my daughter, that by the time you get to my age, you look back and realize that all of those people you called friends are no longer around. You eventually end up with only a select few that you are able to call your ace boon coon; BFF; or bestie (see how those adjectives changed throughout generations?). Throughout my friendship life cycle there are three still standing (Deborah, Lori and Grace). That doesn’t mean that I don’t have other good friends. Oh but I do and they line up in a certain pecking order and they seem to have my best interest at heart as I do theirs. 

Today, as breast cancer awareness month comes to close, I am inspired to write this post in memory of my dear best friend Deborah.

DeborahBreast_Cancer_Awareness_(263497131)_WikkiCommons

I met Deborah at my very first job. She became my go to for grown up advice. I was 19 and on my own.  I needed guidance. Deborah seemed to know everything about life. She answered every one of my questions; always took my side; and always welcomed me in her home. She was full of life and we shared many great times together; lots of laughs;  and many tears.

When I left the work place where we met, we remained friends but our lives went in different directions. It got to a point where we were in touch every now and then yet I still considered her one of my best friends. Our last visit was lunch at the Varsity probably somewhere between 2004 and 2006. Later on in 2007 we bumped into each other over the Christmas holidays. She had on her Santa cap and was her same joking self. In May 2007 I placed a call to her home and her husband answered. I began going on and on with my hellos and how are you doings then proceeded to ask to speak to Deborah. I needed to invite her to my daughter’s graduation party. Yes, another reunion for was on the horizon for us. I had planned to tell her that we must bridge the gap and do better about keeping in touch. After I quieted down, I noticed silence on the other end of the line. Finally he said, “Oh My God, you don’t know. I’m so sorry, Deb passed away”. I cried for days. I cried because I never got a chance to say goodbye. I just hadn’t called lately.
 
I impart upon you to keep your friends close (your enemies too) and keep in touch because you just never know what the future holds.
Continue to rest in peace Deborah and I want you to know that I love you and the search for a cure for breast cancer is alive.
 

Lori

My daughter is 27 so that means Lori and I have been friends since 1986, the year I was pregnant. We worked together. I learned that she lived up the street and around the corner. We gave each other rides home on occasions; we visited; our husbands met; my child was born; then hers; we babysat for each other then we attended the kid’s  graduations; and now our children are grown. We had always lived up the street and around the corner. To be exact for 28 years. Recently my phone rang and it was Lori. She asked me to sit down and so I did. She told me she moved away from up the street and around the corner all the way across town, up I-285, then up I-85 some 40+ miles away. I realized in a blink that I wouldn’t be able to run over there in five minutes to borrow this or that or just to catch up. I cried and cried then I got over it because she’s still on this earth and I have time.

Grace

When you have kids, inevitably you are going to make friends with their friends. You are going to meet that one that you are compatible with like I did. We kept an eye on each other’s children; we picked them up; dropped them off; figured out summer camp carpools; started a girl scout troop where there was none; went to graduations; and we still remain friends to this day from our kid’s Kindergarten class to their adulthood.

Full Circle

I am a firm believer that life comes full circle. As friends, we all have a certain position we hold. I have a brand new set of friends. I treasure them so much because I see myself in them. I certainly hope I am that one that some day they say, “way back in 2013 on one of my early jobs, I met this lady who I felt like I could bounce anything off of. She had so much wisdom, but most of all she was and still is a great friend”.   I think by now you know who you are.

Bottom Line

  • Friendships are for keeps.
  • Respect is essential.
  • Initiate contact, you never know what tomorrow will bring.
  • Embrace your true friends. Trust me, the time will come where they will need a hug.
  • Need them. How can they help you or be there for you if you don’t communicate your needs.
  • Deliver! Your friends depend on you.
  • Savior your time together. There’s no one else like you.

Be careful whom you let in your circle. Remember that the hundreds you start out with probably won’t be who you’ll end up. Where are you in your friendships life cycle?

 

Photo Credit: Three Best Friends –  Dimple shaileshbhai patel
Photo Credit: Breast Cancer Awareness – Jason Meredith

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