the colorful heart of a white flower

That old familar voice.

I moved when there were just a few weeks left in my junior year of high school. In those few weeks I met a girl who became one of my only friends in that new town. She and I hung out in between colleges in different states and lives and jobs that scattered us frequently. We each took different paths – she went back to school (so dang smart!), became a mom of a great kid and moved and married. I followed careers to other states, found my sweet husband and eventually brought him back with me to call home in a city about 20-30 miles from my temporary alma mater.

Life is strange and sometimes plays tricks on us. Friendships that disappear sometimes return. Friendships we thought were forever, sometimes fade away and replacement companions fill our time. So, when I got a message from the neighboring state, I would have never guessed it was HER. It’s probably been 15 years since we talked. Addresses, jobs and marriages have changed. As author Susan Mallery said in her guest blog: As with fine wine, time adds complexity to a female friendship.

It was her old familar voice. Old familiar way of laughing at herself and baring her soul. It was great to catch up. To hear about her son (who got her smart genes), share the status of parents no longer with us, family members who reflect the disfunctionality that we both understand and recap the relationships in our lives and how they’ve come and gone at times. It felt the first time you put on your favorite cardigan in Fall – comfortable and warm, just a little different – but still familiar.

I’m a total friend whimp. (If you’ve ever read this blog, you already know that.) I get mushy over the stories you share in emails and the monthly contest about your friends – finding them, losing them, loving and cherishing them. And, at times, my silly self resorts to feelings comparable (but different, obviously!) to “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg (even if that’s a romantic relationship, I can still relate and feel that sadness for time lost and disconnections).

I don’t know where this rekindled friendship will lead. I just kinda enjoy reliving memories of girls and women in my history whose lives touched mine in little, seemingly insignicant ways but that made imprints on who I became and why I treasure friendships like I do. Friendships grow, thrive and sometimes unfortunately whither away. Friends ‘fit’ into our lives, and us into theirs, – or don’t – based on a countless variety of factors like location, jobs, children, responsibilties, and the situations we’re in or from which we’ve come.

I do know that friendship is a journey. And you never know where it will lead exactly but, at least for me, it’s the only way to get through life. With a friend by your side or a familiar voice on the phone. We make new friends and hopefully we keep the old. We laugh, cry, learn, share, care and do life together. Life is better together with your girlfriends.

Image by Bern@t via Flickr

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