I spent the past weekend with a couple of women I hadn't seen in seven years and with one sister who I see regularly.
I love all of them dearly and it's a shame we don't see each other more often. In her Christmas card, one of the women mentioned that we should get together sometime and that her house was available. Since we have to drive from different home towns to meet, it meant sleepovers rather than just meeting for dinner.
That 'sometime' worried me because life can get in the way of 'sometime' with a vengeance and wreak havoc with good intentions. In the spring, when the weather would finally be reliable enough for a road trip (even a short road trip can be screwed up when you live with snowy winters), I sent an email to everyone asking, "Can we make a point of doing this and arrange it for this summer? Is anyone interested in making this happen?" The immediate, overwhelming response was yes!
So...it had been seven years. It might as well have been yesterday. We picked up where we left off, the friendships and the shared memories an unbreakable bond. We laughed over old stories, but also shared plenty of new stories. In fact, we laughed more all weekend than I have in a long, long time.
All four of us are growing older and showing our ages and yet, we are all so intrinsically ourselves, that when I see these women, I don't see wrinkles and weight gain and looming health issues. I quite simply see my friends.
What is it that makes certain relationships endure while others fall by the wayside without regret? Why is it that we see some people occasionally at weddings or funerals and are glad to have seen them and touched bases, but don't make the effort to see them more often?
Why does depth of affection happen with some people but not with others?
I think, for me, it might come down to one word. Trust.
I trust these women to have my back. I trust that if I ever needed support, these women would give it. I trust them to never hurt me or talk about me behind my back. I trust them to see who I really am and not turn away because of my flaws. I note their flaws and still love them anyway.
We won't leave the next visit for so long. There were things going on for a couple of us that were huge, life-altering occurrences. We are all living stable lives now. We will make it happen at least annually now.
What is it that you appreciate about friendships that have stood the test of time and endured? Why do you think they have endured? What is it that matters to you in a lasting friendship?