Monday, August 22, 2011

'Forever friends'

Do you have “forever friends”? You know the ones—people who have known you since high school or even elementary school, people who know you better than your spouse does, the people you reach for in those life moments when you need to cry or celebrate. Not that, when you first meet someone, you actually define them as a “friend for now” or a “friend forever,” but you often know pretty quickly if this is someone who will fade away when the circumstance that brought you together is history.

I recently saw on Facebook a post that occasionally circulates, the one about people who touch your life and either stay or move on. Many posts also comment on military friends, those people who are brought into your world because of an assignment or deployment and become a forever friend. Whether it is a circumstance or common culture, shared events or true connection, these people are the ones you invite to your promotion or retirement, the ones you travel cross-country to visit, or celebrate with when your paths cross again, perhaps to spend another assignment or tour together.

We have had a busy summer, and I was lucky enough to spend a few days connecting with a few of my forever friends. There are five of us from college who still keep in close touch, who shift schedules and move mountains to spend a short weekend together every year. Some years, the mountains won’t move and someone has to miss—in my case, “Uncle Sam” sometimes has a different plan—but we continue to make the effort.

This year, I was the lucky host and the girls spent a short 48 hours in my new house, sharing stories of kids and significant others, tears over the same and sightseeing around these beautiful mountains. We decided two days is not nearly enough; that once we get the youngest off to college, we will spend an entire week together, soaking our toes in the sand somewhere. And we were reminded that, although 363 days may pass before we get together again, because life is full and we rarely have time to connect, there will always be those two days when time stands still and we can surround ourselves with those who know us best.

Thank you to all my forever friends!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. 

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