Our lives are an accumulation of many things. Beginning in our childhood, our parents, guardians, family, associations, peers, school, teachers, experiences, etc., all shape and mold us into who we are today. One of the most important influences of our lives though are our friends.
I have been blessed in many ways when it pertains to friendships. My first best friend was Sandy. We grew up in the same neighborhood so we went all through school together. We were best friends from kindergarten to about the seventh grade. Junior high school has a way of changing things. But that’s okay. Our worlds opened up to many new friends and experiences. Our neighborhood was fun because of all the kids that lived there and we were together all the time. Crystal didn’t go to school with Sandy and me, but we were the same age, and the three of us were pretty much inseparable. I can’t say that we never got into trouble because we all did from time to time. That’s another blog for another day. But the neighborhood kids were family to each other. We helped each other through hard times. We played together. We loved each other. And we fought with one another too. But we never left each other. Not until life separated us physically. Even so, friendships have remained.
I had the opportunity to go home last September for our 40th class reunion. Even though I hadn’t seen most of my friends for 42 years because my family moved away at the beginning of our junior year, the connections were still there. It was a most amazing experience. I thought I had “lost” everyone, but I surely did not. I did go to an earlier class reunion in June from the school where I actually graduated. It was fun reconnecting with my classmates. I was actually experiencing a low period in my life and it was great to feel a part of the group again. Reconnecting with friends brings back a youthful energy. Becoming new friends with those who were merely acquaintances in school is beyond wonderful.
As we go through the different stages of our lives, our friend circles change and we adapt. Some of our friends though stay close to us through all the stages. That is a blessing for sure. I had such a friend. Chelle and I married a year apart. We had kids together. We went through life together until her untimely passing thirty-plus years into our friendship. I feel I am a better person though, greatly due to her. She was a very positive influence in my life. I am so grateful for all that she added to me.
I cherish my old friends and I appreciate my many new friends. My friend circle has greatly increased in size this past year. Every person adds something to my life. Some more than others. Some positive, and some, not so positive. But still they shape me. And I consider them friends. It is not a requirement to agree 100% of the time. Friends help me to examine my life full circle. They strengthen me. They support me. They give me advice. And they love me. I certainly hope that I add all of these to their lives as well. Friendship is a two-way street.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without the friends I’ve had throughout my life. They taught me compassion and how to get along with others. They taught me about who I am. I have been blessed all my life with the best of the best. I wouldn’t trade a single one of them. I hope that you’ve been blessed with good friends in your life.
Thank you for reading my blog. I am enjoying a late night coffee. I hope it won’t keep me awake tonight.