Have you noticed how casually we use the tag Friend?
So many around us we call Friend.
I heard someone repeat a conversation with a mutual acquaintance in which the third party referred to me as a good friend. Strangely enough I cannot even recall when I last had any sight, sound or contact with this person...either close enough to wave a greeting, a written note, phone call and certainly not an in person pause to visit. Needless to say I was surprised to be called this person's friend even though it is someone whom I admire personally.
This inspires me to ponder the question: Who are my friends? Who's friend am I? What qualifies or removes one from that invisible 'friend list'?
Not all those whom I call friend are here in the same town..or down the street or across town in another neighborhood. Some are miles and miles away..not having seen for months or even years but I still know and cherish them as friends. I would so love to have a face to face visit...a few hours or a few days and that might happen...or might not. Still I count them on my "list of dear friends."
Our paths have crossed for a time then have taken a different turn and direction in life.
Some of these lovely special people were work friends, club friends..others shopping & coffee break friends or community activity contacts. I have My Arkansas friends, Texas Friends, My Newton Girls & Newton neighbors.
Some of us were drawn together by personal interests or business choices like the whacky, crazy, wonderful and wonderfully creative bunch of ladies in Southeast Texas. [ Shirley & Brenda & Hattie ]. Being surrounded by such gifted talented people gave me the nudge, the inspiration, the confidence to stretch creatively...as I began to see the things I did were perhaps worthy of note after all. We shared hard work, so much fun, unique challenges and some painful experiences -the ties that bind, always!
Then there were others connected by our faith, the churches where we chose to serve. In the beginning it was our Faith that bound us...in the end it is the time we were together & still our Faith that is the bond. Still others came into our lives because of the job taken, the house bought. Some I identify as being from the Kentucky years, the Arkansas era or the Texas years.
I think I must add this friend category I shall choose to call the Unique Friendship On this list I may have only one and that would be the first friend I found as a young newlywed and then young Mother when my Sweetheart and I moved back to his hometown after he was out of the U.S. Navy. As we relocated in Clarke County, Alabama this amazing young Christian woman sought me out to be my friend. Over all these 'soon to be 55 years' we have continued to connect and reconnect but often with years and years in between and I promise you every single reconnect visit it is just like we have only been apart for months. We truly pick up like time has stood still. How can that be?
I do know my friend Reba is still there on that Real Friend List and I could never count the times I tell and retell the stories of our friendship. She sought me out to be my friend. There has been that mutual bond of Faith and we have never required much of each other.
There's no need to count or evaluate really..just recognize the joy our friendship has been to each of us and count it a blessing for sure! Taking stock as we are prone to look back over the years - Faith, Family and Friends that's a constant.