We just arrived home from our trek out to Nebraska for the family reunion, then our follow-up trip to Chicago. It has become our habit to swing through Chicago on the way home and visit friends. This “tradition” started on our honeymoon. There were people Bruce wanted me to meet there so we included it in the trip from South Dakota to South Florida. Since then, about every year we have braved the traffic and ventured to Chicago. The friends there are definitely worth the effort.
Between us, we have a LOT of friends. But, to be honest, not all friends are created equal. You know what I mean. There are the friends that are just acquaintances really. There are facebook friends, some I’m not even sure who they are. There are some facebook friends that I wish I had taken the opportunity to know better way back then. They are hilarious and my kind of people and I feel like I missed my chance. There are childhood friends that you remember fondly, are thrilled to catch up with when given the chance, but who you don’t really know anymore.
There are friends that you rarely see, but when you do the time melts away and you start right where you left off. I have friends like that everywhere, even over-seas. One of them is my number one blog reader! Love you Missy. There are friends that you call every day. There are friends that are more like family. I have one of those friends in Thailand right now visiting MY baby sister. Now, that’s a good friend. There are family members who are friends. I am blessed with more of those than I can mention . I even made some new family-friends this weekend.:)
There are friends that you would completely lose contact with if it was up to them. Why do we persist with those friends? Or why do they persist with us? I don’t know but I know that I have been the recipient of that kind of friendship. My friend, Laura from Nursing School days in Gillette, Wyoming is such a friend. In the past twenty-five years I have seen her twice. Once for her wedding and once for mine. We traded Christmas letters and that was about all. Except. Except for the times, always when I really needed a boost, when she would send me a little card. They usually said something like, “I just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and I love you.” WOW! God has certainly used Laura in my life.
We visited friends in Chicago that have been there for Bruce in years past, and now they are there for us. They are the kind of friends who kept up on their side of the friendship. Rita is our dear friend. She comes to see us when she visits the ocean. She calls, she emails. She is one of my kindred spirits which is really neat since she is a friend from Bruce’s days in Chicago. We stay at her house, she stays at ours. She even mails us our belongings if we leave them there. We buy her CD’s for gifts, she buys my books. 🙂
The other friend we visited was Grandma Babs. She is Bruce’s adopted Jewish Grandma. He always gets a birthday card from her. She is 92 now and it was tough. We all felt the loss of Grandpa Hy when we gathered at the table. She put on her brave face as she does each day and fit us in between trips to a framing shop and WalMart. When asked how she is she told me, “accordingly.” She explained that she now felt she was old enough to use that word. She said her mother used to say that because it fit no matter how she felt. Grandma Babs said, “I am 92 and 92 is 92, after all.” Then she shrugged her shoulders and smiled. The grace and humor with which she continues to live her life are an inspiration to me.
So whether you have been an occaisional friend, a forgotten friend, a family-friend, or an everyday friend, thanks for your friendship. Each and every one of you has played a part in my life. Would I be me without you? I doubt it.