One of my nephews FAVORITE songs is “With A Little Help From My Friends”. He will proudly sing “I get by with a little help from my friends”. (You will now all be singing that song for the rest of the day. You’re welcome!) I was thinking about the song the other day and realizing just how true it is. Where would I be today without my friends? I really couldn’t even begin to imagine.
There are those friends you’ve known for a long time that you catch up with on occasion. Those friends you’ve reconnected with on social media who you first met when you were practically a baby. New friends who have been brought into your life by others (your husband, child, co-workers, etc etc). And then there’s those friends who you can literally, to this day, say “remember that time 20 years ago when ______ did ______!” and we all know exactly what we’re talking about. That doesn’t happen often, yet I’m lucky enough to have a group who I can say that sentence to (filling in a million combinations of blanks) and we’ll all remember. All kinds of friends are so important and each bring something unique into my life. But this group really has changed my life in many ways. Throw in a child with a special situation and these friends become life savers.
I’m in the middle of reading a book called “The Girls from Ames” about a group of 11 girls who have grown up together in a small Iowa town, are now in their forties, and still have quite the friendship. They’ve gone through a lot but they have all remained close after forty years. So far, I’ve learned some interesting facts from the book. For example, it says that one study showed that close friendships help prolong women’s lives. So ladies, let’s start saving now, we can all be in the same nursing home with our rocking chairs lined up next to each other. I’ll bring the wine.
It also says that women who want to be healthier and more physically fit are better off having even one close friend then half-a-dozen grandchildren (hence the reason I don’t go to the gym). This just proves that not only is having a group of good friends good for your mind and sanity, it’s good for you physically as well. Research doesn’t lie!
It’s needless to say (although I’ve said it many times) that my friends have done more for me and my family during the last 3+ years then I could ever thank them for. They practically spent the entire 10 months in the hospital with us. Bringing baked goods for the nurses. Celebrating even the smallest milestones with us. Shedding many a tear with us. And most of all just being there, telling us how amazing we are doing, not being afraid to sit with Quinlan when he was paralyzed or had tubes and wires coming out of everywhere. They were even willing to learn how to suction his snot and drool (Too graphic? Sorry, but that’s a true friend to be comfortable with doing that!) They dropped everything on January 30, literally everything (they’re jobs, families, etc) to come be with us as soon as they could that day. It was not even a question. They have all just been there.
Being there for each other has been happening way before just 3 years ago. All of these girls were a part of my wedding. Helping to plan, set up, provide me with a beverage when necessary, try on many dresses, pick out my jewelry, provide a reading, and looking amazing while standing with me on that day.
All of us have known one of more of each other since elementary school (thick glasses, scrunchies, bus rides, and musical mornings with Mr. Pearl). Most of us went to the same middle school (whether you sat in the front of the cafeteria, or the back, we’re all sitting together now and that’s all the matters). And we all joined forces in high school (proms, football games, car rides, sleepovers, Billy Blanks, and maybe a crush or two). At one point or another more then one of us has worked together, lived together, and/or gone to college together. Really, we can’t get away from each other.
As the years have gone on, the friendships have gotten closer. We’re experiencing real life shit now and none of us have gone anywhere. There have been the “normal”: marriages, babies, break ups, buying houses, many fur babies, even moving out of the country for a year. These are the things you expect your friends to be there for. But the abnormal instances can cause anyone to run. But they didn’t. Who expects to have to be a crutch for a friend after losing their child. It’s not what anyone has signed up for, but they’re all doing it. Through good times and bad times, that’s what friends are for. (Just another song to have stuck in your head the rest of the day. Again, you’re welcome).
So, to anyone who is a friend, I’ve ever considered a friend, whether we still talk daily, only once in a while, or maybe just a “like” on social media, you’ve all been there for me in one way or another. And to those who know my good days, bad days, favorite desserts, or when I just need some good cheese and wine…I owe you.
They say that friends are the family we choose. It’s nice to know that there are those out there who aren’t blood related, they’re not stuck with me, yet they stick around anyway.