Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Some thoughts on friendship

Next week I expect houseguests, friends from Omaha that I first knew in a small Missouri town in the early 1960s. They moved north, I moved south, and there were great gaps in our friendship, times when we weren't much in touch. They came to Fort Worth when both our children and theirs were quite young--I remember the two dads took them all to Six Flags. When my ex-husband left me with four children to raise, I called these friends a lot. After that, we exchanged Christmas gifts and sporadic communications. There was a time when I almost flew to see them in Singapore where they were living, but, not being a good traveler, I lost my nerve. Then about eight years ago, they announced that they were coming to Fort Worth to pick me up and we'd all go to Santa Fe. We had a wonderful time, and I finally confessed that I was afraid the friendship wouldn't be the same and rejoiced that it was. They were astounded. Martha came to my youngest daughter's wedding, and there was always talk of another visit. Now they're finally coming, and I'm excited.
I'm still in touch with my two best friends from high school and even before, one in California and one in Mississippi. The latter used to visit with her husband and children on the way to see family in New Mexico, but then there were gaps in our communication. A few years ago, she and her husband came for a long weekend, and he complained as he always did that all we ever talked about was the past. Last year, now widowed, she and a friend came to visit--and it was like we saw each other every day. Now one of us will email, only to be told, "You've been on my mind." We think alike, all these years later.
These are friends I treasure, friendships that have weathered the test of time. I am saddened when I think about the people once friends who have slipped from my life. Some because they moved to far parts of the country and aren't communicators. When I retired, I lost people who had been part of my daily life--though I hold on to a few of them. I sense other friendships changing and becoming more distant, and I realize that I have a whole new set of friends. I've always prided myself that my friends all become friends with each other--and they do. But I notice now when I gather a close circle around me, there are few of the faces that I saw ten years ago. And I rarely see some friends with whom I used to have a weekly lunch.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I'm sad to lose the closesness with people I've treasured, but I am blessed by many good friends. And I am truly grateful for friends that I have kept over many years. What is it that say?

Make new friends
but keep the old.
One is silver,
The other is gold.


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