I turn the pages and read the words written on tattered, yellowed paper – words written so long ago. Turning the leaves of the notebook, my attention turns to recent words written on crisp, white paper.
As a lover of words, I’ve maintained a quotes notebook from my college days. When I discover a line that appeals to me or just want to remember, I jot it down in this book. And I notice many of the lines written – whether old or new – describe friendship.
“We need to have people who mean something to us, people to whom we can turn knowing that being with them is like coming home.” ~ unknown
During the first 20 years of marriage, we roamed far from home to wherever my husband’s career took us. God faithfully and graciously provided amazing and supportive friends every time. I still cherish those far-away friends, even though many miles separate us, and stay connected through emails, social networking, and even this blog.
I consider myself so very blessed with some faithful and loyal relationships which have endured the long haul. Three of those friends are named Mae, Annie, and Leigh (not their real names but they will recognize who they are).
My friendship journey with Mae commenced when we were five years old, just two little whippersnappers enjoying play time together. We attended the same schools and church and our lives have always been entwined. Annie and I met as school chums in first grade, stayed friends all through our school years, and even attended the same college. Leigh became my close friend when her parents built a home next door to my parents when we were kids; she was maid of honor at my wedding all those years ago.
My friendship with each of these women has stood the test of time. We never lost contact with each other as adults, through marriages and raising families, even though I moved away and they stayed in the region surrounding our hometown. For well over 50 years, we’ve remained friends on purpose.
These gals know me. I know them. They are women I turn to for a listening ear, women who give me good counsel, women with whom I have rejoiced, and women with whom I have wept. They have seen me at my best and witnessed me at my worst, and yet they still like me! Friendship on purpose.
Since Annie and I don’t live near each other, we try to meet for lunch from time to time at a halfway point between her house and mine. Often, we have over six months of life to catch up with since we last met. Our lunch ‘hours’ seem too short because we discuss everything and still have more to say. She encourages me, supports me, yet isn’t timid about giving me food for thought when I need a change in attitude. That’s why she is one of my most trusted confidantes. We not only share a lifetime of memories, we share our faith in God as well.
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” ~ unknown
Perfect words to describe my on purpose friend Annie.
Mae does live nearby and one afternoon, she stopped by my house for a visit. She couldn’t have picked a better time. I was feeling low, physically unwell to boot, and her visit lifted me right up out of my fretting pit, causing me to forget my physical maladies and eased my troubled mind as well. Spending time with a dear old friend proved to be a magic elixir that day. She knows my history and I know hers. We’ve grieved together as we’ve lost loved ones, and our friendship is like a comforting shawl we can wrap ourselves in to protect us from the cold reality of this world.
“A person is only complete when she has a true friend to understand her, to share all her passions and sorrows with, and to stand by her throughout her life.” ~ unknown
Perfect words to describe my on purpose friend Mae.
Leigh lives the farthest away. We don’t see each other nearly as often as we’d like but we chat regularly by cell phone with conversations that can easily last over three hours. Talking with this friend really is like coming home. As next-door neighbors growing up, she and I practically lived at each other’s houses. With Leigh, I can share my innermost thoughts – be they good or bad. We share the same outlook on life and no matter what happens, we know we’ve got each other’s backs. Just like we did when we were kids.
“When we are grown, we’ll smile and say we had no cares in childhood’s day, but we’ll be wrong. ‘Twill not be true, I’ve this much care…I care for you.” ~ unknown
Perfect words to describe my on purpose friend Leigh.
Just when I need them, my on purpose friends are there for me. I count that as the most amazing gift.
I only hope they view me as a gift as well – one of those rare gifts, the kind you never want to exchange for another, or re-gift to someone else, because you treasure it for yourself. A gift of friendship on purpose given by the Gift Giver.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10
Linking up today using the theme Friendship - On Purpose with (in)courage.