Friends. I don't understand women (or men) who can live without dear friends.
In 1997, I moved to Denver. I knew my sister, and her husband, and that was it. Through my first job, I met 3 incredible friends. At the time, we were all single, all new to Denver, all new to our careers, all in our mid-20s, and full of endless energy. Since then, we've fallen in love, gotten married, and experienced the unspeakable love of being mothers; since then we've endured illnesses, loss of loved ones, fertility issues, financial hardship, family trauma, career triumphs and disasters, and things that, had we known about in 1997, we would have run away from many times over.
One of us moved out of state. Two of us work in the same building, and still never see each other. I thought maybe we had drifted apart, the 4 of us. But I've since decided that I was wrong.
This week, the one who moved out of state returned for a visit. We're in touch, on facebook and email and phone. But I hadn't seen her since .... I was pregnant with Brody. Four years ago. The four of us hadn't all been together since then.
We went to lunch. The opening line from Charlie's Angels, of all things, kept running through my head, slightly altered: Once upon a time there were four little girls who moved to Denver.....
We still think of each other as girls, and I force myself to say women, with a smile. We sat around a table, with two sons of ours in attendance, and I don't think we could stop smiling, any of us. And while everything about each of us had changed, nothing had really changed at all. We celebrate each other, support each other, encourage each other, and love each other. Regardless of distance, regardless of how often we see each other, regardless of the passage of time. The friendship is unconditional.
I think about these friends I am so blessed to have. Friends I've known since kindergarten, friends I met at the office, friends I happen to be related to, friends I've never met face-to-face but with whom I have shared the best and the worst of me. I don't know what I did to get all of these friends, but I hope I keep doing it. And the gratitude wells up in me and I cannot even express what my heart feels.
If someone forced me to count these blessings, I don't think I'd ever stop.