I have been blessed with the kind of friends that become closer than just friends—they have become my family—the very essence of my being.
I could not imagine a life where I did not have these close friendships in my life. They are like the air that I breathe. I have had my share of mountains and valleys in my life and my “girls” have been the only thing that has sustained me through it all.
When I say friends, I really mean my best friends. And they are my best friends for all different kinds of reasons.
There is Susie, who has been with me for twenty-five years. Our relationship has been a long distance one, she lives in the next state over. But during those decades of togetherness, we have weathered the storms of deaths, divorces, miscarriages, adoption, and health issues. She is my rock as I call her. She is the one I turn to when I need someone to tell me everything is going to be okay and she is the one I call when it is time for a road trip or a trip to Mexico via Tequila shots—otherwise called attitude adjustments. Or canoe trips that involve very long rides in the car. She is the one I go to Purdue football games with and she is the one that knows all my deepest and darkest secrets. We have decided that we have to remain best friends because if there ever was a fight, we could ruin each other’s lives. She is the person that keeps my life stable and makes everything right with the world. I love her beyond belief.
There is Deb, otherwise known as Ma Deb. She is several years older and many years wiser. I value her opinion above all. She is the most stable friend that I have. Married to the most wonderful man that we all have decided should be cloned, so we all can have one just like him. She is the calming factor when I go off on one of my tangents about something or other. It could be some article I read or it could be the way I can sometimes be treated as a woman in a man’s industry. She allows me to get on my soap box and sometimes even eggs me on—our conversations can last for hours. We get together quite often to feed on each other’s love of second hand clothing stores and politics. Some day I see her and me opening up a shop that specializes in second hand clothing with a combination tea room (with some killer Chicken Salad) for political junkies.
There is Natalie, who is probably my shortest friend—only ten years. But I met her through a boyfriend that is no longer a boyfriend. During those ten years, she has remained someone who no matter what, I could show up at her door and she would take me in. Didn’t matter what kind of shape I was in, whether I was emotionally bankrupt or I was celebrating a promotion at work, she was there for me.
We have started a tradition of every other Tuesday girl’s night out. We get together with two to three other friends for a night of dinner, drinks, and female bonding. The night is one I look forward to—one of us cooks, while the others drink all the wine that isn’t nailed down. This tradition has formed some additional friendships that have been surprising to me.
There are so many others that I could mention like Lois, Cindy, Tina, Joni—all my friends that I have enjoyed my time with, but that is just it. Friendships require time and commitment. It is more than just a marriage, it is a lifelong relationship that weathers fights and disagreements. It has to weather all the tests of time and there has to be 100 percent commitment to that person, no matter what.
I have found that I don’t always agree with my friends on issues or even their morals or their beliefs. But the point is that sometimes we have to overlook those obstacles and realize that this is a person I love and cherish in my life. This is a person that beyond this small issue, I have chosen to share my life with.
I have found that friendships mean more to me than family—these are the people I have chosen to go on my journey with and go through my life sharing and experiencing all that life has to offer.
I will forever treasure all of these friendships and thank the good Lord for providing me such wonderful people to share my life with—I truly have been blessed.