About a year ago I became aware of a book called “365 Days of Friendship” by The Ruth Experiment. I know many of you are familiar with these empowered and inspirational ladies and probably already have a copy of this book. If not, I would recommend it. This is a book designed to create something we often forget, especially as adults with busy lives. We forget too often that we have to be intentional with our behavior in our friendships. I’m guilty of this as well.
Recently, a dear friend of mine, not the kind of friend who I see every single week and talk to multiple times a month, get together with for coffee regularly just to discuss life and fashion (many of you have seen me, clearly I don’t discuss fashion with anyone, lol) she’s the kind of friend I see rarely as both our lives are busy with things that usually take us opposite directions. She doesn’t live close to me, so being together in person happens only a couple times a year, and lately, less than that. Nonetheless, I love her. This dear friend of mine lost her son unexpectedly.
As a good introvert, if you make it into the vault of my heart, you’re in. Time and distance do not erode my affection for people. If I love you, until you do something that let’s me know you’re not available for that level of friendship, I love you.
And here is this woman I love, admire, respect for everything she does and is in this world, and she’s in pain. Loss creates true physical pain. We think of it just as intense emotion but it really doesn’t stop there. The level of grief and loss are physically painful. My friend is in pain, and on the other side of the country – crap.
I was recently part of a conversation about friendship (thank you, you know who you are. 🙂 and in that conversation we talked about what friendship means to each of us, what does it look like, act like, sound like, what do friends do? Are all friends equal-level friends? For me it brought up the question of “how do you know where your friendship is at?” Do I consider someone a friend and they just see me as a casual acquaintance? How do you know? The conversation was so interesting to me and if the day were longer, it would’ve gone on and on.
This friend who lost her son; I called, she answered. I was honestly shocked. I would not be answering my phone in her shoes. We talked, we cried, she shared, I listened. And we’ve hit repeat on this multiple times since his passing. She is powerful, faith-filled and brave, God knew she could do hard things and her Soul must have something incredible planned for this exercise in humanity.
Here is what I learned: friends do hard things. I wanted to hide and not call because I’m a big chicken. Ok, really, I’m a fixer and I hate situations where I know I can’t make anything better. I called anyway. She texts me anytime day or night and I respond as soon as I see it. Because I want her to know she is not alone in this, even if I can’t carry the cross with her. Friends show up, in whatever way they can from across the room or across the globe. They say I love you, not because they’ve never said it before, but because sometimes it just bears repeating.
There is a lengthy list of what friends do. More than anything, I think friends act with intention. They consider the other person. They make efforts on the behalf of those they care about. Friends are conscientious. They are intentional. Because friendship requires it, and it’s worth it.
Forever the journey,