I have been thinking about friendship today. About how incredibly blessed I am to have some amazing real life friends here where I live. Real life friends around the country, the world. And friends I have never met, but who have become a real part of my life here. Not imaginary by any means.
You know, it is easy to take them for granted. I am probably guilty of that more than I like to admit. They are always there, and I know it. However, they do know I am there for them too, and I am sure of that. I make sure. They need to be cherished, because I don't know what I would do without any of them. Each one of them /you adds something special to me - to my life. My friends help to shape who I am.
For my 50th birthday, I made myself a quilt of friends, and in the centre, I embroidered the words - my life is like a patchwork of people who matter to me.
I think that is actually the essence of what I am trying to say. Friendship happens when someone matters to you. When you care about them. In good times - the easy part - and in tough times. The "not so easy" and "beam me up, Scotty" times.
A good friend stands in the gap for you.
Stands in front of you to shield you.
Stands behind you to catch you.
Stands alongside you to encourage you.
And stands facing you when you need to hear some truths you would rather not confront.
A good friend is all of that, does all of that. And more. The list is long and varied, and peculiar to each friend. So fascinating. So different. A good friend loves you, warts and all, and you will laugh till you cry with them, weep as you hold them, cheer on their successes, and pick them up after their failures. Speak the truth, even when it may hurt. Tell you when you look totally hideous in some outfit. Save you from embarrassment. Not to mention arrive with chocolate in times of stress and high drama. There is loads of that around here. The stress and high drama bit. It is clearly all my friends' fault that I am not Twiggy.
Well, that is what you are supposed to do. A friendship is a relationship and we all know how much work goes into relationships. They don't just happen. If it is one-sided, there is no hope it will flourish. And when a friendship slowly dies or suddenly stops for no obvious reason, it is so painful. SO painful.
You agonise over what went wrong, what you did, or didn't do, was it your fault, how could it happen......... all the things you went through when you were dating and broke up. (Good grief - I can't tell you how many years it is since I used the words "dating" or "broke up"!) You know what I mean - the intensity is the same, and at times the hurt is far worse, especially after a friendship of decades. And the secrets shared.......
I am a fixer by nature. I want to make things better. Fix things. But some things I just can't. I know some people who seem to be incapable of sharing their friends. It is so sad, you know. If you happen to be friends with someone like that, they tend to resent any other contacts you may have, and see them as competition. The intensity can exhaust, and sadly, insecurity can destroy the very thing which they need most. Friendship.
Ah well....... I love my friends to become friends with each other. Actually, I sort of assume that they will all like each other and be friends. They have me in common, after all! What more could you possibly want. Hahahahahaha!
Each one is different. Each one has a special place. And each and every one would come at 2 in the morning, if I needed them. That is the amazing bit. They care about me. The phone rings and a voice from afar with a dearly familiar accent says "Hullo - can you talk?" and my spirits lift. It doesn't matter how many miles separate you. Friendship spans the globe.
I started off by saying how blessed I am. I just need to look at my friends and I grin.