(as posted by me at RevGals)
Good morning, RevGals, RevPals, OtherPals, and Anyone Who Wanders This Way!
I have been thinking about friends lately. I am so grateful for the faithful friends who have brought me along in life, and I know them in such different ways!
Some are friends from my whole life...childhood, college, graduate school, churches, work, etc. Some are friends of those friends.
Some are people I have only met (so far!) via blogs or Facebook.
And some are a hybrid...people, for instance, with whom I graduated high school NOT having a friend relationship...and now Facebook has brought me a great appreciation of them. I think, with some of those folks,"Gosh, I'm glad I get to know him/her NOW, at least!"
For today's Friday Five, then, let's do a little tribute to five of your friends. This can be broadly construed - relatives count - and you need not use names at all if you don't want to. OR, if you want to link to blogs of favorite friends, that's all right too. The main thing is to briefly (or not-so-briefly) tell us what makes them super special to you. What gifts have they brought to your life?
So first I list my BFF, who has been that for 16 years. We worked together closely at first and now don't. At first that change felt awful, but it has (IMHO) given us the opportunity to be more open with one another than ever before. This is the friend who listens to my sometimes crazy ideas and doesn't say, "you are CRAZY!" She just smiles and listens. And then when I come back and say, "Holy mackerel, that was a crazy idea!" she says, "Yes, I thought so." But sometimes she will indeed challenge me. "Maybe you don't really need to be doing X for person Y" she will say." She gets right to the heart of it. "You must have a VERY good therapist" (I joke). Here's the deal: she IS a very good friend-cum-therapist.
Then there is K, with whom I went to high school. We were probably similar sorts of teenagers, both in music but in different areas; we went to different churches of the same denomination in our hometown, and different Texas colleges. She moved to another state where she got to know a RevGal friend of mine...and we reconnected. I follow her on Facebook and am interested in her career, her recent career change, and her return to our hometown. I love that she is closely involved with her parents, which I would be more if I lived in the same town with mine.
T was a friend and then a boyfriend in high school. Probably the only time that sequence has happened for me, and that's a shame...it works well. T. taught me not to be afraid: of the wood at night. Of what people would think of me. Of trying new things. He was a musician and a hell of a good one. It was his life...and his daughter was his life, also. He died in 2007 and while that was incredibly painful (and I hadn't even seen him in a long time)...he left me the gift of a relationship with his amazing ex-wife and his beautiful daughter. Thanks to Facebook, I get to be friends with someone way cool that I otherwise wouldn't know, and I get to read about and see pictures of a wonderful young woman who'll be a high school junior this year. He would be so proud. I believe that he is.
G. was a friend for years at my former church. We have reconnected through Facebook and I've loved watching her new vocation to helping people eat healthfully. She inspires me and challenges me to do better for my one wild and precious body...she turned me on to Weston Price and his work, and it's greatly informing my food decisions today.
She is also funny and a great actress. When Ken had treatment last year, she and another friend had my former church send us a knitted prayer shawl. I use it often and it is a tangible reminder of the love and support that I got from that congregation at a hard, hard time in my life...long after I left them. Those bonds don't die.
S. is a friend I have known since I was...8 maybe? She is about a decade younger than my parents, so I knew her in an adult/child relationship at first, at the church I grew up in. She has four kids, three of whom were older than me, and the younger daughter was a friend of ours, a few years younger than my sister and I but involved in the same youth group. I remember that S. was the first female usher at our church, at about the same time that my mom was the first female lay reader. Why was this a big deal? But it was. She taught me that a woman without a man could do JUST FINE thanks. She recently attended my former church (for several years) and it was she and G. who sent the prayer shawl. That church was wonderfully intergenerational, and my friendship with S. is emblematic of that.