Raili has so many questions on her Circle of Friends post this week it’s hard to pick just one topic to blog about. So I think I’d like to write about the “staying power” of close friends. I learned many years ago that I’m NOT like other people when it comes to staying in contact with friends.
We live at the west gate of Hill AFB, so our church had many military families that attended. Military families are a special case when it comes to being good friends because sometimes they come and go so quickly. As soon as they get their new orders they begin an emotional withdrawal ritual. It’s as if they have to shield themselves from the hurt of saying goodbye so often. And what I found was that once the family had been transferred and moved on, they were basically OFF everyone’s radar at church — except for me!
I was the one who kept in touch with all of them, no matter where they ended up. In fact, one of those families (well it’s just Mary and Ed now) came through here about three weeks ago. Mary called on a Friday evening to ask if I could meet her for coffee the next morning, which I did. I was so surprised to hear from her! The great thing is, I hadn’t seen her for 30 years (since before we adopted Stef), yet we picked right up where we left off. We’ve stayed in touch with cards and a few calls over the years, and we visited them in Spokane, Washington one summer. And that’s what I see as the staying power of close friendships.
I’m still in touch with one of my two best friends from high school. Our lives are total opposites. That’s been a hoot as we’ve grown old together — but differently!
And I have a great group of gals I’ve hung out with for over 20 years. We used to call ourselves The High Five when there were only five of us, but over the years we grew to seven. Gosh… We need a new name! One of them is my sister. We’ve been there for each other through all kinds of celebrations (personal and family) spouse deaths, stroke, cancers, kids, everything imaginable. We have an annual Christmas party, movie nights, over-nighters. (It’s scary sometimes what you end up talking about in the middle of the night in a hotel after a few glasses of wine and a box of chocolates!)
My two closest friends are my Aussie sister, Kim, and my potential cellmate, Amy (who is also a part of the seven). THESE are the really scary ones. While ALL those folks listed above know most of what there is to know about me, THESE are the two who could actually blackmail me!!!. 😀 And Fimnora Westcaw from Quantum Hermit has slipped into this category! We talk on the phone a couple times a week (for two+ hours at a stretch!) She is definitely one of those folks I feel like I’ve known all my life — and maybe in a past life!. 😉 We’re in the stage of learning each other’s blackmail secrets at the moment. LOL
So how do I stay in touch? Face-to-face, phone, cards and letters, visits, any way possible. But I would also like to observe that some of these close, close friends whom I thought I would know forever tend to drift totally out of my life at times. For them I always have a fond place in my heart. I never regret their having wandered in and out of my life leaving their fingerprints all over the place. They are still a gift to me for as long as I have them.