Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Not Friends--Lifelong Friends

Some friendships are meant to be. And if you are really fortunate, you find yourself in a group of friends that was meant to be.

In college, I found myself living with some great girls (both by design and "accident") as well as across from some fabulous neighbors. Over my few years in school, members of the two groups would trade in and out, marry (sometimes one another) and move. But even in the fluidity of the group, there were some core friendships that held it all together.

Fortune smiled on us this summer, and thanks to the miracle of Facebook, with just a few days notice, a majority of the old gang was able to gather at Lawyerboy's house. Though for some of us it had been years, we re-connected as if it had never been otherwise.

Though my personality was formed at home, my experiences with these friends, helped me to morph into the adult I would eventually become. I think my friendships in that group are the reason that my old college town is the place I'm most likely to call "home." Each member of that group has such a collection of special memories attached to them. In some groups of people, you revert to a certain persona. With these people, it isn't really necessary because I just love who I am when I am with them. They have been bringing out the best in me since 1993.

One of my favorite pictures from my wedding day is standing outside the temple, arms linked together with these friends: men and women who exerted such a positive influence in my life that I still feel its effects years later. Our LDS theology teaches us that families will be together, but on that day I understood that the best friendships are likewise eternal. As I stood with men and women who have been at important times as near and dear to me as my actual brothers and sister, I knew that my journey was forever linked to theirs.

On the night of our barbecue it was hard to decide where to be. I wanted to be a part of each clustered conversation. Nate would say that it is because I have a (strong) opinion about everything, but I think it is mostly because everyone had such interesting things to say. Conversation topics ranged from Twilight to China as a world power to adoption to raising children to the Middle East to decorating to hair cuts to employment . . . . you get the idea. In the right group of friends, the lightest subjects or the heaviest topics all take on special meaning. Are we friends because we all agree? Noooooooooooo. . . . . . . . quite the contrary. Still, somehow, they are the most agreeable people to disagree with.

I've moved a lot, and often a great distance between locations. How grateful I am for friends who will always be friends even when years and miles separate us. Seeing them again was like picking up in the middle of a conversation. Though we lingered late, and well past the time for happy little kids, we still have more to say to one another. But I'm content; some conversations never really end.


TheDooleys4 said...

I have several dear friends who I feel nearly as close to as I do my siblings.....You put into words the way I feel about these people. Beautiful Nan!

loradona said...

I have friendships like this. I have a best friend I have known since... 2nd or 3rd grade? Somewhere in there. We have remained friends through the trauma of middle school, the drama of high school, and the vagaries of college and mission, through her marriage and three kids, through everything.
It is like a kind of home when we get together. No one else gets everything.
And I've collected more friends like this as I have gone. There are some friendships that run their course, like a river that dries up before it reaches the ocean. And there are other friendships that seem to grow stronger and never weaken. I think we are connected to those people forever.

Jenny said...

amen. There are friends, and there are TRUE friends.

emandtrev said...

This is so wonderful. You know it is a great friendship when no matter how much time goes by, and no matter the topic may be, you can talk, be comfortable, and have a perfectly splendid (and re-energizing in some cases?) time.

I recently had an experience like this when I went back to Houston. It was honestly just like old times. I don't think anyone that was walking by our table at dinner would have known that the last time we saw each other was about three years ago.

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

"Some conversations never really end."

That's an excellent way of putting it.

Sweet Joys said...

You brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. Even though I am a "transplant" to the group, I feel the same way about all of you. I have a similar picture of our wedding day with you and so many wonderful people(including Bren with the catapillar mustache...good times!) sharing in our joy. I have so enjoyed our friendship over the years. My only regret is that I still haven't sent you pictures of the happy occasion. I'll try and do that soon. Please forgive my laziness! It was SO good to see you! I hope we don't have to wait so long in between visits. Love to your whole family!

simple easy and quick said...

See, you need to come to the annual get together's more often. It was great seeing at the BBQ, just like old times. It's amazing how you can reconnect with people so quickly when you have so much shared history.

Hope to see you at the Christmas party