I have four close friends. I have no desire, at fifty, to surround myself with a million friends who are either fake, or use me to get what they want. I spent time with those types of friends in grammar school, high school, and throughout my twenties, thirties, and forties. I was a very good people pleaser, and I got my butt kicked several times. I wanted to be liked, and I would allow others to take advantage of my compassion and kind heart.
When I was pregnant at twenty eight with my first child, I ran into a girl I had befriended for a while. A year before, I was working at a post office, and she at a bank next door, and we’d have lunch together and meet at the bar after work, or go shopping, or over my house to hang out. My mother had met her, and cautioned me. I let it go in one ear and out the other. One day, we decided to take a ride to the shore. She saw me take off my engagement ring and put it in a box above my bed. It was tight on my hand, and I didn’t want to get it stuck, as each moment, I was getting more and more pregnant and bloated!
She had a baby herself, and when we got back to my house, I went in to take a shower, and she went in to change the baby. When I was done, I decided to put baby oil on my hands, and see if my ring fit. She had thought I’d leave it off until after delivery, and by that time, many people would have gone through my house. When I opened the box, a gold band faced me, but no diamond engagement ring. I was frantic, and she proceeded to help me look all through the tiny house. Nothing. I realized she was the only one who could have taken it, and I was so embarrassed to tell my mom she had been right, and I should have listened to her. I thought about going to this girl’s apartment, and beating it out of her. One thing and one thing only stopped me, I was pregnant. I never saw my ring or that girl again. That experience helped me realize that all people weren’t trustworthy or honest, and I would have to take better care in who I decided to be friends with. And from that moment on, I did.
A good friend of mine, who eventually moved to Maine, introduced me to a woman named Margaret. There was an immediate attraction, as we seemed to speak the same language. She was honest and interesting and funny, and talked with her hands as I did. I remember leaving our friends home, saying to myself, “I want to be friends with Margaret.” We started talking more, and calling each other, and going out to dinner, and having long talks about everything under the sun, most of which, we agreed on. We visited each other’s homes, and I got close with her three kids, and she adored “our” little Sara. I’m not quite sure if she knows yet, some twenty one years later, that it was actually me who gave birth to Sara. She adopted her as her own as soon as my little girl was born. And she’s never stopped believing she is her fourth child. And that’s fine with me. We stayed close all through our child rearing days. We could talk on the phone for hours, and did. Once the six kids between us went off to never never land.
We liked the same books, the same people, like Maya Angelou, Oprah, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, and we ended up seeing him in person, and getting his autograph on our books. When we were together, there was never an awkward moment of silence. It was more like fighting to get a word in edgewise between us. We would go to parties she’d invite me to, and she was always at any function I had, and we attended meditation classes, she introduced me to some very warm, caring people, and we recently took our daughter to Philadelphia to see Sylvia Browne. What a great day. We got there early, walked around sightseeing, each bought a pair of shoes, and I bought Sara a t shirt, took a lot of pictures, went to the Hard Rock Café for dinner, then on to the show. It’s a memory I’ll always carry in my heart. Twenty two years we have remained friends. I don’t believe we’ll ever end our unique and close friendship. I have always been able to trust my dear friend, and she feels the same about me. This time, I picked a winner.
And my winning streak was continuing. I had immediately liked a woman who brought her son to the same preschool I brought my daughter. We hardly ever ran into each other around town, but when we did, we seemed to have a great deal of emotion and trust for each other. Years passed, and I ran into her while she was working at my pharmacy. She gave me her e mail, and that was it. We were headed for a deep and long lasting friendship. I have emailed her every day. She also believes the same things I do, and we have a great admiration and love for each other. She is the kind of friend, my little angel Teresa, who you can count on at any time. Unfortunately for her, that time was recently 1:30 in the morning. She simply answered the phone with three words, “What’s the matter?” When I need strength and wisdom and faith, I just e mail my good friend, and I shall receive what I need. These friends are more than sisters to me. They are my rocks when all around me is going crazy, and I don’t want to join in. And I try to be there for them as well. My Teresa e mailed me one day. She said, “Sue, you have to go to this woman.” And she gave me her name and phone number. I had no idea who or what this woman was, but I had the utmost trust and faith in my friend, so I promptly called and made an appointment.
One of the very best moves of my life. Her name is Sandy, and she is a reflexologist. The reflexology massage has helped my Crohn’s immensely, and feels Heavenly, I never want it to end. It does end, in an hour, but I not only get a massage, but the most interesting and truthful bits of wisdom from this woman as her fingers work their magic. She has such a diverse range of knowledge, and I hang on every word she says. Whether she talks to me, or tells me a story to bring home a point, I am mesmerized just by being there. The whole process has given me much needed strength and resolve, where before, I had none because of the Crohn’s. My mind was strong, my body weak. Now, they are beginning to work in balance. And she allows me into her private space by encouraging me to e mail her, and I usually do so several times a day. Her responses also come with great knowledge and help me to think more clearly and rationally. She has a glow about her, and as with my other friends, I can trust her explicitly. I have a deep and honest attachment to her, and I don’t ever want it to end. Three right choices.
Years ago, I guess it’s been some 17 years, I cleaned a woman’s home that I adored. A big Victorian, built in 1829. I would run into Maria as I got to her house to clean, and she was leaving to go to her Real Estate office next door. We always had good conversations, and created a bond between two people who simply liked each other. After several years had gone by, she wanted me to take the Real Estate class, and I did, and worked as a Realtor for her until I had a bout of Crohn’s. She moved about an hour away, and when I was stronger, I asked if I could clean that house, as I needed extra money. I did so, until the Crohn’s came around again, and said, “uh-uh.” She since has moved within five minutes of me and I’m so happy about that. We get to call each other and stop by each other’s houses, and keep up with each other. We like each other. We trust each other. We want the best for each other, and we want each other to be truly happy. What more could you want from a friendship? Ironically, I have cleaned all but Sandy’s house, for long periods of time. Now that’s trust! Maybe that’s why our bonds are so strong. There is a deep connection between a person and the person who cleans their home, nothing locked up, all valuables displayed, and no one was home when I cleaned. They leave in the morning with a home they think is dirty-none were, and come home to a sparkling, dust free environment, beds changed, bathrooms glistening, kitchens spotless.
Friends are like diamonds in the sand. They twinkle in such a way when you pass by, you need to stop and introduce yourself. My friends are my diamonds, my sounding boards, my attempt to feel better when I don’t! They always make me feel better. I am so grateful for four of the most wonderful women I have ever met. My mind, heart, soul and love go out to them, and receive their love in return.