Saturday, November 23, 2013


Friends. We all have them...or at least I would hope we do.  My oldest friend that I am still friends with is Melanie. We moved down the street from her when I was just 6 years old. I can't quite remember our first meeting--Mel was a year or so older than me but we became fast friends. Over the years we would walk to school together, chase boys together, we ate dinner at each others houses, and watched TV after school. I am sure there was many times over the years both of our parents wondered, "when did we adopt a second daughter?" As we got older we hung out at the mall together, and she was always doing my hair and makeup. We even decided to go to college together at the International Academy of Esthetics in Sherwood Park. We've had periods over the years where we have lost touch, but the thing about us is that after 30 years of friendship (holy crap we are old) we just know we will always have that bond--no matter how long we go in between talking to or seeing each other. No amount of time will ever change that for us. 

We all have a handful of those friendships. I mean sure, we all know lots of people we have known since childhood. But how many of those people are we actually still 'friends' with? 

I have always had friends wherever I have been. It has definitely gotten harder over the years. Maybe because with age and weight insecurities, etc, I am more shy than I have ever been. For those of you who know me--and know me well--this may surprise you. But the truth is, I am very uncomfortable in new situations with new people. Having moved cross country twice in 9 years hasn't really helped that. However, our move to Boston and back has brought friendships into my life I never would have had otherwise. And I am grateful for that. 

It's funny how sometimes you meet someone at just the right time. Out of the blue you meet a friend you just know is going to be there for life. Over the years, I have met people at certain times and lifelong friendships have been formed. My friend Tammy is one of my best friends from back home and she actually lives just 30 minutes away from us here in Oregon. We have been friends ever since we met at camp back in 1996. She has always been an important person in my life for a lot of reasons. We don't see each other as much as we would like, but life is busy sometimes...especially with two kids. But knowing she is just a short drive away and we have each others backs no matter what is a gift.

I met my friend Aimee on a weight loss support website called Spark People. We will always have that connection and support for one another. She has blessed me in ways I never realized a friend could, and I am so grateful for her place in my life. My relationship with my friend Stephanie is an interesting story. We have actually known each other for a long time. We had a mutual friend many years ago--by many I mean probably 20 plus. We knew each other, but I wouldn't say we were really friends back then. Fast forward to this year--though we have been Facebook friends at least 4 or 5 years--and due to some mutual understanding of some situations in both our lives we started chatting. We started talking to each other quite a bit while playing Words with Friends, and it has gotten to the point where we chat everyday and it feels like we've been friends all along. Her friendship has already brought so much understanding and joy to my life. I am better with her, Melanie, Tammy and Aimee in my life.

A few weeks ago, Steph posted an article on Facebook about friendships and how they change over the years. It ended with the following paragraph:

"And I've discovered that maybe, as you get older, it's not the same anymore. You don't need to have loads of friends. You need to have a few really good ones. And when you manage to have that -- and, praise the Lord, I do -- treat them like the gold they are. You'll never have a more precious asset. And, as you may have noticed, they aren't so easy to replace."

How true is that?  We need to respect our friendships that we do have and take care of them. We need them. I am not always the greatest friend...I have a lot of flaws. Shocker--I know. But those who really know me see past it, and I am very thankful for that. Don't take friendship for granted. Love, respect and support those you have. They are here to make us better and enrich our lives.

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