This has been one of those weekends when nothing that should have been accomplished, was actually accomplished while many wonderful things managed to take place.
My husband and I, along with a gaggle of friends had the extreme joy of celebrating the wedding of a young couple who are completely and utterly besotted with each other. They have been part of our small group for much of the past year and it was a privilege to share their big day.
It’s the friends that I would talk about though, my co-conspirators, my adventurous band of troublemakers, my collection of souls crazy enough to do along with most of my schemes. How did I get so lucky?
There are three different types of friends that we make over a lifetime. Some are in your life due to circumstance, such as school or work. Remember that inseparable friend you met at camp and you swore that you would be friends forever? And then camp ended and you promised to write but really it never happened and you never saw them again? Those are friends of convenience, and while the relationships and the affection are real, the relationships change as life changes. And that’s ok.
And then there are the people who are your friends for a season in life, that can last a few years. You have similar interests and perhaps you are at the same stage in life, and that becomes a long standing common bond. But again, life happens and while everyone is good willed towards each other, you drift towards different things. Think maybe of the friends that you make when your kids are all in the same playgroup. You share birthday parties and early years in school, maybe scouts or hockey or soccer. You are all living life in the same direction, and then maybe at some point your family drops something, or changes a school or an activity, or you move across town, or your kids hit puberty and decide they don’t want to hang out any more. Seasons change and life changes and you remain friends but maybe not as close because it’s harder to connect. This is ok too, and typically as you let go of the older relationships, new ones form. A natural ebb and floe of life.
Finally, a very few times in your life you discover the rarest treasure in friendship. Someone who “gets” you, and you “get” them and time and circumstance and distance can not alter the friendship. Those are a gift and it’s important to nurture them. These are the people you call when the chips are down and they come through for you, no questions asked.
I started my weekend with one such friend. We have irregular coffee dates determined by hectic schedules, life stress, and calamity. The worse it is the more often we talk, and I’ve called her more than once to talk me down from the proverbial ledge. I trust her with my truth, I can say anything and I know that it get’s grounded and goes no further. I know that she is “for me” and because of that I afford her permission to really speak into my life. If I’m being a dumbass, she can tell me and I will listen because I know she’s right. We found each other within the past 5 -7 years, but I have no intentions of letting her go anywhere any time soon. I do my best to add as much to her life as she adds to mine but I think that I’m the winner in this story.
We attended the wedding with a group of fabulous women. This bright, beautiful, and brilliant collection of some of the best women I know made an awesome evening, extraordinary. The are marked by kindness and support for one another. Knowing them each as I do, I am aware of their personal stories of courage and perseverance. It’s a privilege to be part of their lives, for however long our paths cross, and they are just SO VERY FUN. We cheered for our friends, we laughed, we danced, we celebrated being together, and then we went out to eat at 1:00 in the morning. Being the oldest member of this unlikely posse I am so grateful to be present with them. Our ages span about 20 years but it doesn’t seem to matter, we just enjoy each other’s company. It’s a beautiful thing to know that no matter what is going on in life you can get together with some friends for a glass of wine and a guaranteed laugh. Finally, what’s lovely and what I appreciate most about these women is that there is always room for one more. After a bit of coaxing they managed to draw one of our newer friends (who is also awesome) into their crazy mayhem on the dance floor. How great would the world be if we just kept trying to include one more person?
Finally, I got to enjoy lunch and tea with my longest and most constant friend. Can there be anything better than a friendship that is so comfortable and so full of history that you can just be? We started out as neighbors, raised our kids together, and now talk about traveling if we ever get to retire. She is a treasure and we have shared much of a lifetime together already.
I am so incredibly thankful for these women, and for giving me the gift of accepting me just as I am. Grace is when you are given something you don’t deserve, and truly after such a wonderful, jam packed week-end I feel like a lot of grace has been extended my way. May I always be such a friend in return.
Have a great Monday tomorrow everyone.