This morning I was thinking about friends and friendships. All of us have made friends over the years; some we've lost contact with because of marriages,change of jobs or major moves have happened in our lives. Others, we try to stay in touch, with occasional lunches or get-togethers or celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. But, like most things in our lives, changes occurs and a few more friends get lost in Life's constant shuffle.
There are several levels of friendship which we all encounter in our day-to-day routines. There are casual friends like the friendly cashiers at the various stores you frequent, who recognize you and always exchange pleasant chit-chat; the wait-persons at your favourite eatery, who knows your likes and dislikes by persuading the chef to do a substitution; the people in your gym class who suffers through the agonies of the work-outs with you; all the people who pass through your life until the next time you see them.
There are friends we do things with--going out for meals, going for walks, enjoying concerts and art shows with. Friends we enjoy doing stuff with and spending time with.
Then, there are the few friends who are truly friends in every sense of the word, friendship. Even if you only have one true friends--or if you're especially blessed to have more than one--that friend is worth his or her weight in gold.
Often, we don't realize we have a True Friend (TF) until years later, we realize that person is still in our lives and has always been there. Through good times and bad, this friend has always been there if we needed help or simply a shoulder to lean on. He/She is a great listener and knows just when to to say nothing or knows what to say when you're finally able to listen. Most of all, a TF is honest enough to tell you what your head doesn't want to hear but your heart knows is true. A TF has the power--when family doesn't--to make you listen to the truth, even when the truth is painful.
The amazing thing about TFs is that, even if you've seen each other a few days ago or a few weeks or months later, it's as if time hadn't passed at all. Conversations are picked up as if it was only yesterday that True Friends got together. True Friends instinctively recognize nuances in words left unspoken; the body language or subtle signs of happiness or trouble. True Friends are the sister or brother that might have been.
Such special friendships have to be loved and respected; nourished and maintained. A True Friend is like the special ornament on the Christmas tree; the floral bouquet tied with a raffia ribbon, the person on your "speed-dial" and the person who made you do stuff you didn't want to do but ended up enjoying every bit of it. It's been a great forty-three years--here's to many, many more!