No, yesterday found me connecting with friends, something that gets taken for granted so often in the jumble of everyday life.
I chatted with my best friend via IM for a long while and then one of my other friends called and we talked for a little over an hour, laughing at our pets and grumbling about our husbands and then laughing some more at how silly men can be. Both my friends had a lot going on and needed my ear, which I happily leant without a second thought.
This year seems to have found me in touch with my friends more often than I had been in the last few. I'm glad of it though, because it's comforting to feel like we haven't really drifted so far from each other after all, even with me being way down here and my friends being back in or around my hometown.
Perhaps it is time moving forward that brings us back to old friendships. My birthday is coming up in less than a week and I know 34 isn't really all that big a deal, but anymore, my birthdays bring to mind all the years I've lived and all the friendships and relationships I've had- the people who've come and gone in my life. I've lost grandparents and let friendships go. I've had my heart broken many times, but it always mended- not perfectly, but enough to tattoo the lessons into my memory so I can learn from those experiences and sometimes look back with a smile.
Every facet of my existence has made me who I am today and I really am blessed with wonderful family and great friends. We do have physical distance between us, but I tell them we're always close in heart, no matter how far apart we may be. For a long time I had felt disconnected- since I moved away almost 8 years ago.
But something has changed in the past few months- the past year I suppose. Maybe we needed the space to grow and mature, so that when we came back to our friendship we would have more to offer. I don't know. What I do know is that in my youth I believed certain friendships would never die- BFF! I believed they would live on regardless of where our paths led us.
After I moved here, I floated through my day to day routine. My life had changed. I was a wife and mother. My friends' lives had gone in other directions too, so keeping in touch melted away for a while. I thought of my friends often and how long it had been since we'd talked or hung out or connected. In the past couple of years I've realized I'm more than I believed myself to be. I'm a wife and mother, yes- but I'm a daughter and granddaughter. The sister and cousin. The writer.
I'm also the friend. Probably the reason I bawl when I watch movies like Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, Beaches, The Divine Secrets Ya-Ya Sisterhood and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
They're friendship flicks. Movies about women and their connection with other women. They're about the times we are close and the times we're separated by distance and life's changes. About coming together to provide strength and support when it's needed. It's about the laughter through the tears and the truly precious gift that our friendships are and how they enhance our lives. Without these friendships, we wouldn't be who we are. These relationships impact our lives just as much as our family relationships and sometimes even more than our love relationships.
A friend can know you far better than your own spouse and almost as well as your mother, especially those friendships that started in childhood or adolescence. They went through what you went through and if they didn't, they were there, standing by, as you struggled through your first broken heart or the loss of a loved one. They gave you a shoulder to cry on when no one else seemed to understand the misery you felt. They were the staunchest supporters of your dreams, believing and hoping and praying for your successes as they would their own. The same way you supported theirs.
We should never forget those friendships. Tie the knot tight when you have the opportunity and hang on. Don't let distance be an excuse- keep those bonds strong and always remember that these friendships will be there as you succeed and they'll be there even when you fail. They'll cheer you on to victory and they'll lift you up when you don't think you have the strength to go on.
Thank goodness for friendship.
That's why, when I received this yesterday on my writer's loop, it touched me. It spoke of the true abiding connection we have with our dearest friends. I just loved it and wanted to share it.