But you got to have friends.
The feeling’s oh so strong.
You got to have friends
to make that day last long.
~ Bette Midler (1972)
My little calendar over there reminded me that some dear friends celebrated another 40-something birthday the other day. The twins, Lisa and Laura, lived across the street from me back in Maryland, where I grew up. We met when we were 4-5 years old and entering Kindergarten. We were really close friends through elementary school and remained friendly through high school. When I went off to college, they moved back to Northern California with their parents. We kept in touch by mail and phone over the years. The advent of e-mail has been a great boon to us: e-birthday greetings sent on the day of instead of cards mailed at the last minute, quick notes to say hello, genuine words of comfort when my father died. Hearing their voices on the telephone takes me right back to the safe comfort of my childhood. Reading their mother’s practiced cursive on my father’s condolence card did the same. It all reminds me how wondrous a lifelong friendship is: 40+ years already, and we’re still in our 40s.
The treasure of lifelong friendship is best illustrated by my Aunt Mary. She is 85 now and keeps in daily contact with her lifelong friends of over 80 years. Those 4 women grew up together in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. They all now live near each other in Florida and still take care of one another. The “youngster” in the circle, a fifth woman, has been friends with the group for only the last 60 years. Can you imagine? What a gift!
I cherish all the friends I’ve made over the years, especially the ones who have stuck by me through my darkest hours. Who are your dearest friends, and why are they special to you?