Friendship: A Gift That Keeps On Giving

. October 1, 2016.
Friends-from-Whitney

In September 1961, seven young ladies showed up for their first day of high school classes, young, brash and hoping to set the world on fire in marketing and retailing, cosmetology and business. Each of them had her own stories, quirks and dreams, and graduation day found them leaving on different paths. A few got married early, had children immediately and lost touch with the others. While no longer in day-to-day contact, the women exchanged an occasional Christmas card, bearing current news, or had a casual run-in at a restaurant or the mall. When that happened, it seemed as if no time had passed, and funny anecdotes and fond memories surfaced. Thirty years later, a group met to discuss plans for an upcoming class reunion and a fresh connection was made. At the festivities, the seven reunited and agreed that friendship worked best when nurtured. Some were now divorced, most of the children were grown, and there was nothing to stop them from setting aside time to pursue the frivolity they once shared as friends while in school.

Yearly Gatherings and Celebrations

Plans were made for the first of what is now 27 trips and yearly celebrations. There have been marriages, deaths, and grandchildren, and through it all, the closeness of friendship, with knowledge of strengths, weaknesses being there for each other through the years. I belong to this group which has laughed, cried and survived our share of life. We took our annual vacation this year to Aruba. As expected, the weather, friendship and food were good. We ate far too much, shopped ‘til we dropped and laughed as we always do. But things have changed through the years; one member of the group succumbed to cancer, and another is a breast cancer survivor, while three have had knee surgeries.  As younger friends we often laughed about all of us living in the retirement home together, where we would assign tasks according to our strengths. We do not know what next year will bring, but we hope for and expect the best. That is what friends do. No matter what happens, friends are front and center, cheering you on, or helping you through a rough patch. I treasure my (now) five friend-sisters and will for years to come. We often forget to take the time to thank friends for years of undying love and devotion. A relationship must be nurtured to remain strong, so set aside some time to visit, take a moment to phone or plan a special lunch or dinner with your friend. Make a resolution that you will contact those special people that you once treasured, but no longer see or hear from. Friendships are powerful so make it a priority in your life to give the gift of friendship; a gift that keeps on giving.

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