Last week, my best friend from the 7th grade came back to our hometown of Huntsville, AL to assist her aging parents. Evelyn lives in Seattle and still has a high schooler at home, so the trip is a significant commitment of time away from family and work.
To be completely honest, I was just not excited to lose an entire day prior to an upcoming hectic work week. But…as I thought about Evelyn’s commitment, a day seemed like the least I could do for a friendship that’s last almost 40 years. And it was such the right decision!
Because Evelyn’s parents are a bit older than mine, I wanted to visit with them as well. Both have experienced health setbacks that you anticipate an 84 and 88-year-old would, and yet they were still full of energy. Originally from Germany, her parents entertained me in the traditional European style of sitting in the formal living room. The house was exactly the way I remembered it from high school – exactly! Same brown shag carpet, Danish mid-century furniture, paneled walls and of course, avocado green bath fixtures…It was a flashback to 1978!
The true blessing of the day was spending time with my dear friend, Evelyn. Do you have those friendships where months or even years can go by without touching base but are immediately forgotten when you do? Evelyn and I don’t talk as much as we did when we were younger, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way – that’s a sign of a true lifetime friend. If you have one or two of these friendships, you are fully graced.
At lunch we compared notes on helping our parents with their legal affairs, dished on siblings and who would be the final “caretaker” of the parents, concerns about our children’s futures, and even discussed sex after 50 (sorry, Larry!). The point is that with this friendship, there is complete and total transparency. We connect on a spiritual level that re-energizes us both. She is the person I can be completely relaxed with, the one who sees all your warts and loves you anyway. We are sisters in every sense of the word.
Reach out to the person who does this for you – these friendships are to be treasured as they are very special gifts. These are the people who will stand by when times are tough, and celebrate the little successes with you, too. They are your “home” away from home.