The Value of Friendship

This month really has been an interesting one. I have many aquaintances, but not many I'd truly call my friend. If you are my friend? I will go to the ends of the Earth to help you if I can. I think the scars of childhood bullying and betrayal had and still lead me to hold back in real life. Never let anyone get too close, never let your guard down, someone will just stomp on you if you do. It's never held me back from having alot of casual friends though, and I'm very outgoing, gregarious I suppose, and pretty much I will help anyone who asks.  I think though one of the reasons I sought out communication online was it was anonymous.  I could just be me and if someone didn't like what they saw...don't talk to me.   I think my internet friendships have helped me become more confident with real life friendships and really be me.

There are a few things I have decided to do this year. As part of taking care of me year, I'm investing time in past friendships. Friends who I cherish and due to kids, works, life in general have not seen. Funny thing is. Those friends who are truly your friends...are always there. The last year I've had the pleasure of getting together with friends from highschool, childhood, and university and it's as if no time has passed. We are all a little older, some of us a little rounder, all have had full lives but it's like we were together yesterday. Facebook...whilst I hate the new format, has brought so many of my old friends back together again. Thanks for that Facebook. I have a love hate relationship with facebook but that is one of it's better uses.

Friendships as we get older take on a whole new meaning and as I reflect on my dearest friends I know that even though we may be in different stages of our lives, the support and knowledge that someone has your back, no matter what becomes even more important.

Once the kids leave this house what will I do? Always a fear for a stay at home mom. It's not like the Urban planning world will welcome a 50 year old woman as a "junior". (GAWD...I'm going to be 50 in ten years...whaaaa). It is time to foster those friendships again, and start some new ones.

It's funny how friendships change. I have a girlfriend who is very dear to me. Lets call her...Nabob (like the coffee). We were thick as theives in University. She was one of my best friends through school. I wouldn't say she was my best friend but certainly one of them indeed. She stood for me at my wedding, went into heart failure I think when I told her I was pregnant, but was very happy for me. We had a really big fight at some point and you know what?? I dont' even remember what it was about. I missed her for several years. I really missed her. My brother passed away and I wanted to call her so badly but was afraid to for fear of further hurt. How silly we are when we are young.

Several years later I was at a trade show showcasing my business and who walks by my booth? Nabob. She looked in, I looked out...I swear to almighty I became a five year old girl. I started bawling my eyes out. I literally dropped everything, ran over and hugged that girl as if I was clinging to life. All was forgiven in that moment...on both sides. It's funny how someone can re-enter your life exactly in that moment when you need them to. I was still suffering the loss of my brother, was overwhelmed with the new business, and really needed a friend.

We spent time getting reaquainted but it was so wonderful to have her back in my life. We were at very different stages. She was newly engaged and working full time in our field. I was starting a business, had two kids at home (and one apparantly on the way), and married for some time. It didn't matter, earlier it may have, but not now. I helped her with the planning of her wedding and proudly walked down that aisle with her. Me, 8 months pregnant, looking like Barney the dinosaur but I was so thrilled and proud to be part of it.

Nabob just had a second child and is busy with her life now. I get it and understand. We talk occasionally, send emails, but while we don't see each other often that bond is there and I love her. She is someone who will be there as we all grow old together and I couldnt' be happier.

Recently my childhood best friend temporarily moved near us for a contract. I can not begin to tell you how much fun it has been having her back in my life for more than a quick visit when I'm up north. We spent the day together a few weeks back golfing and I swear, I haven't laughed that hard in years. (okay..yes..our golfing was awful but that's not what we were laughing at). My husband told me he left us alone in the kitchen chatting and was so thrilled to hear the joy, laughter and love that he could hear in our voices. This is probably one of my oldest friends. Been buds since we were about 5. Spent every summer together, every day, and then went back to real life in the fall. She is so dear to me and I'm thrilled she is close by even for a little while.

Other friends over the years come and go. Scars from childhood run deep and it's hard to let go of a friendship for me, or when things go sour I tend to blame myself. I think I've stopped that now. I've worked hard at it. My husband has helped in that regard pulling down those thick castle walls I had built around myself for many many years. It hasn't been easy but it's there. I have another friend who I do miss though. She WAS my best friend in the world, through University and beyond. She held me and was with me when my brother died in the prime of his life. She was part of my family. We went on vacations together, celebrated our achievements together...she was my sister (or the closest thing I could have to one...or so I thought).

One day she just disappeared. We had just moved into our first house, she had just gotten a promotion and POOF...she was gone. Her apartment cleared out, phone numbers disconnected, she was gone. I was beside myself with worry and also deeply hurt. 10 years of friendship had just dissappeared without a trace. No one had heard from her. I will admit I was still in rough shape from the death of my brother but was starting to move on. I questioned whether I had been too needy, too depressing etc. It haunted me. I thought hard and deep and realized that perhaps, just perhaps I was too close to her. All those walls I had built up around myself were still there around her. I was the closest thing she had to a real relationship in her life to that point.

A few months had passed and my husband was in critical condition in the hospital. It was very scary and we were close to losing him. I had no one to turn to. Nabob and I hadn't spoken in several years, my family was around but far away. I had two little boys, a new house and a husband in ICU. I needed a friend. I knew where she worked and by then knew she was actually alive and called her. I got a stunned voice on the other end of the line telling me she'd call back. She never did. I've not spoken to her since sadly.

After agonizing over the loss of the friendship that meant so much to me for a very long time I can still look back fondly on it. I miss her. I really do but she needs to do what she needs to do to make her happy. I think if I were to see her on the street someday I'd probably give her a smack on the side of the head but I would forgive her. I wish her well in her life and hope she is happy. I don't think she disappeared to be cruel, I think she did it because she needed to. Whatever the reasons, I can speculate til the cows come home, I would forgive her and welcome her back into our lives if she chose to be part of it. I think of her still and hope she has found what she is looking for.

I had been hit with a double whammy. I lost my brother, and I lost my best friend. I had resigned myself to not letting anyone get close again then Nabob walked by my booth. Sometimes we get these little gifts in life and we treasure them.

To those friends of mine who know and accept me for who I am, idiocyncracies and all, I cherish you. We may not always be on the same page but we are all in the same book.

I'm a little nostalgic today.
Hi Everyone.  Stay at home mom to 4 very creative kids.  I love to renovate, bake, and make the most out of life.  You can follow my adventures here.  I have a recipe blog at  and life as a stage mom as well as life in general at
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