So those who read my post from last week (Story of a Friendship) detailing the ups and downs of one particular friendship may wonder if Meg can keep a friend at all. The answer is yes, I have several old and dear friends whom I do not think will ever prompt me to vent in such a way.
One of my friends is from college. Time and careers separated us for a while, but the twin wonders of the Internet and texting have kept us in mostly daily touch for the last three or four years. Its been a wonder how we have picked right up again where we left off, but as the adults we are, not the kids we were. On the other hand she hasn't forgotten the person I was striving to be in college and challenges me to move beyond just mom and job. Both of us have families, and its been a joy to have someone else who is struggling with many of the same things at the same time, or who has already been there and can give a hopeful word. Having her back in my life has been one of the luckiest events of the past few years for me.
I have a best work friend too. We have worked together for nearly 20 years, and so have endured a lot of job related trials together. She is one of those rare people I can discuss anything with, and not offend her, and she knows she can do the same with me. Many of our conversations begin with "I am saying this to you because no one else will understand". She has my back in the workplace too. When choosing our shifts, consideration of the days I will have off takes a back seat to trying to stay on the same shift as she does, so I know I have a friend in the house.
I have another very good friend, some 20 years younger than me. She was originally dating another friend of mine, that didn't last but thankfully everyone remained friends. In some respects I was able to mentor her, a nice reversal for me, although in other areas she knows far more than me. She now has small children that we get to spend a lot of time with, and its fun to watch her and her partner grapple with the ins and outs of parenting.
I have another friend, who is almost the same number of years older than me. She is an extra grandmother to my kids, and a great friend to me. She also has a lot of arts experience, but unlike my husband and myself, much of it is in dance, so she has been a great encouragement to our daughter and has given great advice to us regarding her training.
Finally what prompted me to write this piece, today, is that its the birthday of my oldest friend of all. We first me at my christening when she was 2 and I was 3 weeks old. As you might guess, our mothers are best friends too, and have been for more than 60 years. For all those years our families have been closely connected. We never lived in the same town, and have mostly communicated by mail all through the years, only occasionally seeing each other, but no matter how long we are apart the connection is always there. She teaches school in a small town, and is currently raising 3 grandchildren in addition to her job. One of the best people I know, and I'm lucky to have had her in my life all these years. She lets me hold on to the best of my past as a foundation for the future. Happy birthday my friend, and thanks to all you ladies for making my life better.