Do you have friends you have known for many years that no matter what happens, no matter how long between the times you see each other, it is like you saw each other yesterday? Do you have friends that are newer but with whom you are developing a close relationship because you see them frequently and have current activities in common?
I feel very fortunate to have both of these types of friends. New and old, they are all so important to me. What makes them all so special? Their unique personalities and their friendship — let me tell you a little bit about some of them.
I have two friends from different parts of my life who have been around for more than 30 years. The first of those friends is Mary. Mary has been in my life since I was about 25 years old. She lived in the same small town I did and through many nights of card games, long phone conversations, child-rearing and shopping trips, we became the best of friends. She and her family were around at the time my daughter was born, and Mary became her godmother. To my daughter, she became “Mimi” and to Mary, my husband became “GBO”— the “Great Bald One.”
I moved away from that small town in Central Illinois, but I took with me a friendship that has lasted throughout the years. We have shared the good times and the bad, but through all of that, our friendship has remained. It always feels, when we do see each other in person, that we are taking up where we left off — that we still share the same ideals and values, and we can still finish sentences for each other. It is a relationship that has withstood the test of time and distance but just keeps on ticking. Thank you, Mary, my old friend, for everything you have meant to me over the years. Thank you for being my friend.
My other old friend comes from a different part of my life — my work life. Joan and I shared an office space for several years and our friendship grew. In many ways Joan became my mentor. She was there in that office space before me and showed me the ropes of my new job, taught me how to deal with a difficult boss and taught me to see the humor in, well, just about everything.
Joan is from a completely different background than I — the country girl (me) meets the city girl (Joan). Joan should have been a stand-up comedian; she is the funniest person I know. We lost touch for a few years, but through the wonder of social networking, we have reconnected to the point that she and her husband came to visit a couple of summers ago. They have now retired and live in Florida. It was as if the years had been peeled away, and we laughed our way through a day of golfing and dinner. Thank you, Joan, my old friend, you gave me many hours of laughter and joy, and I look forward to many more either in person or via Facebook and email. Thanks for it all!
Now, my day-to-day life has brought me new and valuable friends. Karen, Sue, Linda, Peg, Laurie and others have become the fabric of my daily life. Some of these friends are also “couple friends” — that is friendships that also include our husbands. Laurie, my friend from my most recent work life, was my lunch partner and walking buddy for several years. We shared many hours while I was at that company and grew to know many details about each other. We shared our daughters getting married within months of each other and made our way through the day-to-day happenings of our work life. Congratulations to Laurie on the birth of her first grandchildren — a set of twins! Now we can share the antics of our newest generation.
My friends Karen, Sue, Peg and Linda — I see some of you almost daily. You are so special to me; you make everything so much fun and help make each day of my new-found retirement better.
Linda, thanks for listening to all of our good and bad news. Thanks for being there every day — you really are the best.
Peg is still working (not retired), and I enjoy the opportunities we have to laugh and talk. It’s been great getting to know you. Sue — so special, so full of life and personality. Thanks for being my friend; thanks for being who you are; thanks for making me laugh, and laugh and laugh.
And then there is Karen, Karen my golf-cart partner, my friend. We share similar farm backgrounds, but from there, our lives took different paths. Those different paths have crossed now. Thanks, Karen, for your kind, compassionate heart, for your consideration of others, and for being my friend. You are a good friend to many, and I am so happy to be among them.
These are just a few of the people I call “friend.” Thank you, all of you, for being in my life.
Friendships, I believe, are the fabric of our life. I went to see my 100-year-old mother the other day. She was on the phone with one of her out-of-town friends. They shortened their conversation because I came in, but my mom told her that she would be talking to her again in a few days. I could tell the friendship meant a great deal to my mom. She also told me that day about the illness of one of her best friends — she was very sad about it because even at 100, the value of friendship is so special for her. We are never too old to have friends and we are never too old to be a good friend to someone. I am so blessed to have good friends, new and old, and to share parts of my life with all of them. Hope to see all of my new and old friends soon!
Nita Wyatt of Wyanet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.