When I was a little girl I grew up with built in friends, I had sisters. They were always there, always at the ready. One older, one younger, me in the middle and then when I was ten, a bonus sister. An abundance of sisters! And if that wasn't enough, my mom became friendly with a woman down the street and she had three girls of similar ages and two boy too. Over the years, she and my mom became very good friends and in return her girls and our girls became very good friends too. Bonus! Then there were friends from school, clubs, girls scouts, the neighborhood, it was easy to make friends. Lots of friends.
Every year though there were some who would remain, and some who would wain. Wander away to a different camp, so to speak. Something better, brighter, more attractive had caught their eye and they were gone. Hurt feelings were bound to occur, but Mom was there to soothe the hurt, mend our wounded egos, remind us of what was most important in life and let us know that this too shall pass. Soon we were on our way again, playful and happy with our new group of friends and the ones who remained, of course there were always the sisters. The problem with the sisters was, they never went away! If I'd bring a friend home to visit, one of my sisters was always there. In the way. Bothering us, getting in way. You know what I mean, especially if you've had sibligs. And we shared rooms. Four girls, two bedroom-you do the math. Not too difficult to figure out. But then eventually the friend would go home, we'd get bored, and sisters would become friends again.
As a young newlywed, away from my hometown and my sisters and mom, I didn't know many people and found it difficult to make friends. I was going to school and soon became pregnant and with that pregnancy, very ill. I stayed home and saw almost noone as it was a 'young' community and everyone was at work. We weren't going to church, my husband worked lots of hours, so his friends became our friends, but I didn't have any friends of my own and no way to meet them. But, soon enough we moved to a community that we thought would be good for raising children. Lots of homes. We built our home there and though we were one of the first houses on the block, I quickly began to make friends. It was easy then, I had a child. A great groundbreaker, and a house in the neighborhood-common ground. A few years later our second child came along and pre-school continued as did an influx of people. We joined a church and met a lot of people and became one with our community. The friendships that I made I thought would be lifelong, but when a friend moved from my neighborhood, even if it was only across town, we seldom saw them again. For a while we would try to keep it up, but eventually, it just became too difficult and though nothing was ever said, the calls just stopped. While that wasn't true for all, it was for most.
Now that I am working full time and my children are grown and gone, I am not around my neighborhood much. I don't see my neighbors much at all. I find it difficult to make and cultivate new friendships. I have friends at work, people with whom I connect with on a personel level quickly and easily. But I don't know where they live or know their husbands and I wouldn't call them when I wasn't at work. Nor they me. Boundries I guess. But the friendships that have sustained through the years, the ones that give me comfort and strength are the easy ones. The friends that I can connect with who, after not have seen or spoken to them for a time, when we get together it's like no time has passed. We can pick up where we left off. We understand each other, and care. Those are the friendships that are really meaningful to me. When I pick up the phone and hear one of them on the line, I smile. You know who you are. The ones I turn to.
Then of course, there are my sisters! They have always been there and always will be. Something I can always count on. My sisters are my best friends and my greatest allies! When my children were growing up I used to tell them to love one another because in the end, everyone else might not really understand, might not be there. But a sibling knows your story, knows your history and understands it was part of it. No one else knows your parents the way they do or your family the way they do or loves you the way they do. You will need each other, to lean on, to depend on, to help make decisions with, to laugh with and to cry with and to celebrate with. So be kind to one another and love one another.
And to my great delight they seem to have taken that to heart as my two are pretty close as adults. They have a wonderful relationship and one that I am so proud and happy to see.
So here's to my friends, the ones that have been brought to me by chance and the ones that have been given to me by birth. Thank you! Your friendship means so much to me, more than I can ever say. Thank you for the coffee hours, thank you for the happy hours, for the long phone conversations, for the bagels and coffee, for the play dates, the shoulder to cry on, for arranging 'sister-time', for pajama parties, quiet time, shopping trips, laughter and tears, sorrow and fears. I love you all!
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
3 hours ago