My best friend of almost 34 years is a wonderful human being. I don’t really know where I’d be without her. Her husband sometimes jokes that we share a brain, but we share much more than that. We’ve shared a lot of life together, and, as a result, are more like sisters than friends.
We met in our early 20s and have navigated together through births and deaths, home perms and fashion faux pas. Our friendship has endured major moves and job changes. We’ve survived teen trouble and relationship challenges, and we’ve enjoyed hundreds of hours of both laughter and tears. She’s held my hand and prayed for me through things I wasn’t sure I could find my way through. One time in particular stands out.
All You Really Need to Do is Be There
My husband and I were in the midst of a difficult season. Things just seemed to go from bad to worse. After dropping my kids off at school one morning, I headed straight over to her house. I barely made it through the door before bursting into tears. She listened until I was talked out and cried out. She then had me sit in her favorite chair, pulled a blanket over me, turned on some music and let me be. She’d come in every now and then to ask if I needed anything, but she mostly just let me rest.
I learned more from her that day about what good self-care looks like than any of the books I’ve read. Can you imagine what kind of peace we’d know if each of us could love ourselves the way our best friend loves us? No judgment. Just breathe and be kind. Great life lesson.
That lesson was perfectly timed, too, because soon after that, my bestie moved away again to another state. I had to learn to find my own way through the hard times because I couldn’t jump in the car to go see her and talk it out. We still talked on the phone, but eventually, the busyness of raising kids and the craziness of life made it tough to talk very often.
Some of the Sweet Things
Even after long times apart, though, we’ve always been able to pick up right where we left off and quickly jump back into finishing each other’s sentences. We’ve made it through raising and worrying about our own kids and have now moved into loving (and a little bit of worrying) about our grandkids. We’re older now but can still laugh together till it hurts. What’s even sweeter is that we pray more because we’ve learned life is full of the scary unknowns, but God is greater. I’m so grateful He gifted me this best friend to walk alongside, even when it’s from a distance.
Don’t Take Time or Friendships For Granted
It’s funny how life moves and times change and lessons are learned if we’re listening. My mom, who’s in her 70’s, lost both of her best friends to cancer a few years ago. Out of the six or seven couples who’ve been my parents’ friend group since 1976, my mom is the only remaining wife. All of the others have passed away. Life lesson: our time is precious, our friends even more so.
If it’s been a while, call or text your best friend and just tell her thanks. Let her know how much she means to you, and make some space in your calendar to spend time together. Sharing life with a best friend means the good times are even better cause you have a buddy who’s celebrating with you. And the bad times or hard times are a little easier because she’s helping carry the load and encouraging you along the way.
For further reading on friendships, check this out: Finding Those Raw, Real, Authentic Connections, by Emily Jorgensen. In addition, The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin.