Yesterday, as we were driving, my youngest daughter, Bear, broke into my garden writing reverie by suddenly saying,
“Annie and Joey are my best friends in the whole world.”
I smiled at her reflection in the rear view mirror. “Yes,” I said, “You will all probably be friends for your whole life.”
This wasn’t any pie in the sky notion, or something a mother tells her child to give them dreams on which to fly. Annie and Joey’s mother has been my best friend for fourteen years, and our younger children have been friends almost since the day they were born Beneath our feet, they played on the same blankets, toddled on short stubby legs, and later climbed trees together.
Aimee and I were both SAHM when we met. I’d recently quit being a legal assistant to parent my children full time. Diva was three, and ASW was eighteen months. Bear was merely a twinkle in her daddy’s eye when I met Aimee, after a mutual friend, Katie, suggested we’d like each other. She was right. After a mother’s group meetup at Chelino’s, a local Mexican restaurant, we stood outside, leaned against our cars and talked for hours into the warm summer night. Not long after, I realized she was the best friend I would ever know. Together, running households on single salaries, we met weekly, and over egg salad sandwiches and Lay’s potato chips, we grew in faith and friendship.
I held both of her youngest children in my arms the day they were born. In the summer, they come over here to play, or Bear goes over there. It’s a revolving door of summertime happiness.
Anne is twelve, and Joe is 10. Bear falls in between. As Bear says, “Annie is the sister I don’t fight with.”
Indeed. That got me thinking about sisters of the heart, those we love for much of our lives. Do I have any lifelong friendships? I have Donna from when I was ten and in the fifth grade. A life changing year fifth grade when I learned about the birds and bees. Donna and I sat on the swings and pondered these essential facts of life and decided it was bogus until we confirmed it with our parents. Her grandmother taught me how to crochet, and I’ll never forget those hours we spent making washcloths. or walking up to the corner store to buy Sweet Tarts and Double Bubble. Although she now lives in Kentucky, we remain close, with facebook making our friendship stretches more fluidly across the miles.
In college while working my way through journalism school, I made two friends who still mean so much to me, Debbie and Curtiss Ann. Until Curtiss Ann moved to Mobile, AL, the three of us got together on our birthdays and Christmas. Now, we are only two, and we miss her. Thank goodness for email, blogs and websites, facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Plurk. These varied forms of social media aren’t just for business, they are also a way of keeping close.
So, when I tell Bear she will be friends with her two best friends for life I mean it. With loved ones down the street, or only a click or two away, there is no good reason not to “talk” to our friends, cry over their sorrows, and rejoice with their joys.
Speaking of joys, Aimee’s oldest son graduated from high school and entered the Air Force Academy. With his graduation, Aimee and I also reached another milestone together, and it’s good to have the hand of friend as we march firmly into middle age.
What friendships have you nurtured? How do you keep in touch with those who know your past and will walk with you into the future? My Aimee, whose name is the epitome of love and friendship, had a birthday while I was in Buffalo, so this post is one of my presents to her.
After all, we can’t forget to tell our friends how much we love them. You never know what life will bring.
Pam's English Garden says
Dee, I am blessed with wonderful friendships like those you describe. Thank you for making me pause for a while today to cherish them. Pam
Dee, I really loved this post. I consider myself a lucky gal…I’ve had my best friend since 5th grade. I remember very well how we met in my neighbor’s backyard while we were all jumping on the trampoline. Now 37 years later we are still forever attached. In adulthood I’ve also made some amazing friends. Like you described, I have the friend who helped me with my colicky baby (he’s 21 now), and my very good neighborhood friend, and my friend made while our sons played Tball. We have also shared many, many meals at Chelinos. 🙂
Some people don’t need girlfriends like you’ve described but I do. They are to be loved and cherished.
Susan Tomlinson says
Well said. <3
Honey-bunny, you are the friend who has taught me about the devotion to friendship, and to keep reaching out. As we march into middle-age–me into the youth of old age now–I find I am opening my heart in new ways. There is nothing more important in our lives than those we love. Everything else passes away, but the love shared are the things we keep.
I love you.
Lisa at Greenbow says
I like the thought of “sisters of the heart”. This is a great reminder to be sure to keep in touch with older friends and be sure to tell all of my love for them.
Dear Dee, A lovely essay my dear and so very true. My dearest friends are sisters of the heart. Some have come into my life recently, others have been lodged there for years! You got to meet Carrie Sue, my almost SIL. Thank you for the gentle reminder to let these dear women know how much they mean to me! xxgail
Oh Dee, that was lovely! I have a friend like that too. I miss her a lot, she lives in Louisiana. We have grown apart somewhat but my life wouldn’t be what it is without her, that I am sure of.
I’m so glad we have reconnected after all these years. I cherish our friendship as well.
Dana, honey, I feel the same way about you. You’re a doll.~~Dee
sharon Lovejoy says
My dear Dee,
Hurrah!!!! This is a wonderful post. I am thinking of many people who mean the world to me…Eleanor who made maternity dresses for me and was the first friend to hold my son Noah, Judith, my herbal sister, Marilyn, the pill who once worked for me and is now my pal, Lynn Karlin who worked on magazine assignments with me and now is firmly entrenched in friendship. But mostly, I think of the five women who went through middle school and high school (and two went through grade school too) with me. We are true friends who meet twice a year for sleep overs and adventures. We love each other unfailingly, and unflinchingly, and I know they’ll always be there for me as I’ll always be there for them. And now dear Dee, I count you as a friend too. We have so much in common and our love of family and life will unite us always.
Love and thanks,
Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island
P.S. I had tears in my eyes as I read your words
Sharon, you know I love you. You were a friend to me even before we met. Through your words and loving guidance, I flowered~~Dee
Jenny B says
The older I get, the more I realize how precious those friendships are. Too often lives change, people move away, and it is too easy to loose touch with our frantic lifestyles. I so enjoyed your post today…thanks! I am going to go email some of them right now!
Jenny, thanks so much, and I’m glad it touched you. Friendship is such a universal gift.~~Dee
Mr. McGregor's Daughter says
Hear, hear! Do you remember that old Girlscouts song that goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” I’m not sure when one turns from silver to gold, but it was wonderful to see friends again and make some shiny new ones at Buffalo.
MMD, I thought a lot of my blogging friends as I wrote the post. A good second one would be about Buffalo.~~Dee
It is so cool. I can now put your sweet face with your lovely writing!
All the best,
Susan, when I read your column, I’ll always think about you.~~Dee