When you were a kid, did you have a “BFF”? Best friend forever? We are fortunate if we have one in a lifetime, but I happen to have been blessed with many.
A forever friend is someone we can trust with our most secret of secrets; that “BFF’ always has our back. They push us, pull us, lift us and carry us through our most vulnerable times. Their shoulders are well padded so they can hold our tears. Together we laugh until we cry and sometimes we just need to cry.
My “BFFs” didn’t come along until I was an adult. When I was a child, we moved too many times to develop lasting relationships, but when I was married, Buck and I moved to Princeton Illinois, and there they were waiting to be my friends.
We were all young mothers and fathers; dads worked and we were all stay at home moms. We were pregnant, we were strong and healthy. We volunteered together, we car pooled together, we helped out with sick kids, we helped out with PTA meetings, we chauffeured our kids to band practice. Our families camped together on long weekends; and once we traveled to Washington D.C. on spring break. We formed our gourmet club which had us exploring new recipes and taught us how to cook. Goof gifts were exchanged. We got together and drank a pot of coffee every morning after dropping kids off at school. We carried play-pens to each other’s houses and played bridge all afternoon. We did craft projects too. Once a week we ate at Pizza Hut and the “Lunch Bunch” was born.
Along came high school and we compared notes, went to ball games, suffered the pangs of young broken hearts and finally sent the kids to college. Then we got jobs.
Somewhere along the way we began taking care of our parents. Some of us began to have health problems of our own. Tragic illness claimed one of us leaving an empty place at our table and in our hearts.
Jobs changed, some businesses flourished and some failed. Now there was talk of retirement. The new “buzz” word was “downsizing”. A few of us moved to be closer to family. Sadly, we also suffered with divorce; we cried and laughed and still we stuck together.
Now comes the tough time when Alzheimer and cancer have begun taking its toll and funerals are planned and nursing homes are chosen. We have hearing aides, new hips, new teeth and gray hair. We are beautiful in our “old” age and we’ve kept our sense of humor while living through some hard times these last fifty years.
If we hadn’t had these beautiful “BFFs”, I don’t think we could have made it through life’s ups and downs. I encourage you to nurture your new and old friendships. They are a wonderful blessing, and will help keep you strong, both emotionally and physically.
Remember what Winnie the Pooh says about friendship, “A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey.”