Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Forever Friends

The following is an article from The Charlotte Observer dated Saturday May 3, 2003 that I just so happened to keep.

'Forever friends' are the ones you plan to keep. ~Some friendships stay viable for only a certain season in our lives~
by Lynne Hinton

"What is a 'forever friend'?" someone asked me recently when they saw the title of my new book.

I thought it was a reasonable questions, since I dedicated the book to three women, designating them as my "forever friends." Before answering, I considered what each of the three of them meant to me, the relationships I share with them, their undisputed importance in my life.

Then I gave my answer:
A "forever friend" is the one you plan to keep the rest of your life.

People come and go in and out of our lives. Many of them we call friends. Often the friendships are made because of convenience, a shared event or location. We work together, take classes together or live near each other. Our children are in the same day care. We go to the same gym.

As our lives change and the convenience factor is removed, we find that many of these friendships are no longer viable. We lose touch because we realize that once there is effort required to see each other, to sustain the friendship, we find that we really don't want to make the effort. Those friendships are important but only as long as time and location permit convenience.

There are friends who are our friends during a particular season in our lives. We were in school together or ran around together when we were younger. We played on the same sports team, studied the same major in college.

Then as the years go by, as we age and develop who we are, we find that we have less in common with those friends. The changes we have made across the years separate us. We let those friendships lapse, allowing them to become part of our history, a part of our memories.

Treasures to keep

Then there are those treasured friendships we choose to keep.

Over years and seasons, throughout changes and developments, across time and space, even amid conflict and disappointment, these friendships require attention and commitment and we gladly give it to them. We do so because, frankly, we couldn't imagine our lives without these relationships.

We have decided that these friendships are important. They matter. They count.

These are the few important persons who have passed of our tests. They have proven their loyalty because they have seen us on our worst days. They know us inside and out, cleaned up and messed up.They have heard our worst secrets, watched us fail and succeed, fall down and rise up.

They have laughed with us, cheered for us, fought for us and most of all, cried with us. They have said at the most critical moments in our lives, "It doesn't matter what happens, what you have decided to do, I will always love you."

Those are the words of a true friend, a keeper.

The "forever friend" is the one you count on to be truthful and loving, loyal and committed. They are the ones you count on in crisis and celebration. The "forever friend" is the one you will attend to, stand up for, love with unrelenting fierceness because you know that person will do exactly the same for you.

These are the chosen companions, the lifers, the ones you plan to grow old with.

These are your "forever friends."

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