Those of us with spouses, partners or significant others know that they are truly our very best friends. We also can never minimize the importance and significance of having family members who support us and love us unconditionally. There are so many people who do not have these people in their lives and those of us who do should be forever grateful that we do. For those of us who have been on the journey a little longer than others, we have made many friends along the way but none are as close to our hearts and have had as much of an impact on our lives as those who have been with us since the beginning.
This is the person who loves you for who you are. This person is nonjudgmental and always has your back before you even knew it needed to be had. The person who you can call in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning and just sit quietly on the phone letting him or her feel your pain without saying a word and know that they will sit quietly and listen for as long as needed. This is the person who keeps you grounded, keeps you real – they knew you before you made it and stuck by you when you didn’t. This is the person, who after 20, 30, 40 years or more can laugh at the same stories that you only need to start with a few words because you both know exactly what you are going to say. This is the person who cries at your wedding and takes joy in watching you find love and be loved by someone special because they want only the best for you. The person for whom you would do anything without giving a second thought because it is as second nature as breathing in and out and it all applies to these special friends in my life. They all came into my life long before my spouse. He is my very best friend and these friends have also become his friends – completing my circle.
We met when we were in 6th grade – almost 53 years ago. I cannot imagine my life without her in it. Our friendship has survived even though we attended different high schools, lived for several years in different states, followed different career paths and had completely different lifestyles. Her children became my niece and nephew, her husband became my dear friend, and her family became my family. she taught me how to be a great friend without even knowing it.
My guy best friend “Bill”
Another of my best friends since “circa” 1969 is Bill. For the nonbelievers among you, yes – men and women can be just friends. We met through other friends and realized early on in our relationship that we were destined to be friends forever. That we kept our relationship at friends was not intended to diminish either of us in the eyes of the other but actually took the relationship to another level where there was no pressure, no holding back – only love, support and great friendship. Besides being my dearest friend and confidant, he has been my parents’ third son and my husband’s best friend as well.
My artist best friend “Vanessa”
And then there is Vanessa. We met more than thirty years ago. We were both dancers. We first met in dance classes, then she became my dance instructor and later I was a dance instructor in her first dance studio. We had so much fun traveling to NYC to take classes! She did me the honor of asking me to be Godmother to her son, Ryan, who is now also a dancer. In the years since that first dance class together, we have been great friends laughing, crying and sharing adventures along our journeys.
We go back about 25 years and it has been a wonderful 25 years. She has shown me what it is like to grown older without growing old. We became friends at work where I could take shelter in her office on a bad day or have lunch with my feet up on a chair on the good days. We had each others backs at all times! Our friendship deepened even more when she retired almost 15 years ago and we have grown closer over the years since. She is a joy to be around and a comfort just knowing she is there.
My legal friend “Louise”
Our friendship formed over the meeting of two great legal minds (that’s my story and I am sticking to it) about 15 years ago. What I immediately loved about Louise is her sense of humor. Even on the worst day in the worst of situations she can find something to laugh about and delights in bringing you to the party. She is a delight to be around and together with her spouse (who I affectionately call “Mickey”) they are the perfect people to include among my closest friends. Louise keeps it real and, in turn, keeps those around her real.
Each and every one of them is part of the circle that fills my life with joy and love and the greatest friend of all is my husband who is my partner, my love, my very best friend and companion on life’s journey. Ask yourself who are the special people in your life that you cannot imagine not having there for the rest of your life? Take the time to reflect on the relationships and tell them often how much it means to you. It doesn’t matter who called last or when you saw them last, they will always be there sharing the journey with you along the way.