It does not matter if I have forgotten her youngest son’s birthday for the last three years in a row. It does not matter if I have not replied to emails, phone texts or Facebook posts. “Sorry, I was busy,” I say when we talk on the phone. “It’s alright,” she says, even though she too is a full time working mum with two boisterous boys and a home to run. Sometimes her texts are simple, “I miss you,” she said last week. A few days later, swamped with deadlines, amid nursing a sick child and wading through piled up home chores, I send her a simple text. “:(” I type. The next minute she calls up and listens to me rant and whine about how difficult my life is. For a full 15 minutes. She offers me patience, bits of domestic wisdom, and lots of laughs. When I put the phone down, I’m a happier person, and I’ve a smile that will linger on for the rest of the day, no matter how tough it gets. There is, someone has said, no hospital better than a friend. She’s my Best Friend and this year, we will have been friends for over 16 years.
Over the years, we’ve stuck together through college, crazy boyfriends, marriage, moving homes, sick babies, death and despair. We’ve stayed stuck because there is an absolute love that binds us, one that time has only strengthened. A love that does not depend on the who, where, when, why and how. There’s no explanation required, no sub text. There’s no pretending, no conditions, no expectations. She loves me, warts and all, and I love her back, just as hard.
A friend is a gift, a rare and precious gift. These are the people who’ll see you through your worst fashion fads or hairstyles, laugh with you at your mistakes, and gently nudge you to face life’s biggest decisions. They’ll keep your worst and best secrets, keep you sane when the world is tumbling down and hug you tight when you’re wrong. They’ll be hanging around long after the party is over. They might not help you clean up, but they’ll stand in the doorway, making the process fun.
We don’t always find them early in life: but all of us do find the friends we need, the friends who were built for our joy. You know the easiest way to get a Best Friend? Be one. Reach out. Listen. Give love.
Today, reach out to the friends you love, the ones who made you laugh, who were kind on a rainy day. The ones who never say no. The ones who are always up for a drink on a lonely evening. And remember to reach out to those who need the friendship you have to offer.
Happy Friendship Day! To send a free card to a friend today, go here.