There was a box of treasure waiting for me when I got home last night. My oldest and dearest friend had sent me a package. My sons enthusiastically looked on as I opened the unadorned box and found the surprises inside. She had been to a gem and mineral show in her city and had gathered a collection of baubles and bangles for me to enjoy. All total there were three pair of earrings, three rings, four bracelets and a sweet little Mexican pierced-tin box. It was great!
Just the evening before I had been telling my boyfriend about this friend and how much I love her. We have been close friends for about 35 years and most of that time we have not lived in the same state, or even the same region of the country. We see each other, at most once every several years as we both have responsibilities at home which make the long trip a challenge. We talk on the phone maybe once a month, though may often leave each other voicemail in between. There is a lot of distance and time between us and yet we are as close now as we have ever been. We have grown up together, shared the stories of school and boyfriends together, supported each other on the deaths of our fathers, stood in for each other as “maid of honor” at each of our weddings, and shared the challenges of raising our sons (we each have two).
Our personalities, environments and lives are quite different and yet the bond between us is solid and meaningful for both of us. We are not without our challenges – we are both strong-minded women who can occasionally “lock horns” on a topic, but this does not threaten our bond. There is an understanding, a respect and knowing between us that goes deeper than any other friendship I have ever had, quite simply we love each other and we let each other know. Aside from my family – my relationship with her is the longest lasting one of my life and I look forward to the milestones we will face together down the road.
So as I get myself ready for my day today, I have the pleasure of choosing which of the assortment of baubles and bangles I get to adorn myself with today: an outward symbol and simple reminder of the friendship that has been with me almost my whole life. And that friendship is a reminder to me to: let the people I love know that I love them, to work hard for the things that matter in your life even when circumstance makes it seem unlikely to succeed, and to treat those around me with respect, caring and understanding. Thank-you, my dear friend…