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.