Old friends….what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph…
I spent today w/ old friends, one of them the closest I come to a brother from another mother. His wonderful wife — someone I would love for herself, even if she didn’t love G — and their three funny, smart, imaginative daughters. And I remembered once again how nice it is to have history — the right kind! — with folks.
I’ve known G for more than 40 years. He introduced me to my husband. I set him up with each of my sisters. We even tried to fix our (divorced) parents up! Finally, we gave up, realising that we are as close as brother & sister without someone getting married. His wife is a dear friend in her own right, as I said, and their three girls are great fun to visit with. We go waaaay back.
Lately I have given a great deal of thought to friendship, the family we make for ourselves. Because that’s how I think of my dearest friends, as family I have chosen. Who have accepted that choosing, and chosen me back.
Certainly I have family who are dear friends, and I don’t take that — or them — for granted. My nieces & nephews phone/ email/ FB regularly, and I talk to my sisters frequently. I have a couple of cousins I hear from, as well. People I can talk books, music, politics with (that’s not everyone, believe me!). And of course my sons, my DIL, my beloved. All of these are friends, as well as relations. We too have history.
But my history with my friends is freely given, freely written. No one drove me to my BFF’s, as we learned how to share, how to listen, how to negotiate those first fragile months of becoming friends. No one’s mother told G to ‘be nice!’ to the new kid at school (I met him my first summer at TU).
Tomorrow, I’ll see G, his wife A, and the three girls again. We’re going to brunch at a much-loved local museum, where they’re having a Monet exhibit (an artist I love). The girls will insist that we walk the gardens (hurray!). Later, G & A & my husband & I will exchange the looks old friends share when their young ones have fun. Mostly, we’ll remember when we were younger, crazier, and be glad we’re all still together.
It may be one of the best things about learning beginner’s heart, this recognition of how important all the faces of love are. And that history makes that the richer.