Today I drove 7 1/2 hours round trip to go to a friend's birthday party at Lake Norman, NC. Nancy turns 60 this week. She and I have been friends for around 12 years, give or take. She's part of my dinner group (10 women) in NC for which I drive to every other month or 2 or 3.
We surprised her and she was so happy. It's fun seeing someone enjoy their birthday so much. I don't understand people who hate birthdays. Anyway, her happiness was contagious and we all had a wonderful time laughing and talking. We talked about how long we'd be doing this together. I can definitely see the affects age is having on all of us in this group and I wonder when a serious illness will change the tone of our group. It will be tough. In 12 years it's been pretty smooth sailing for most of us.
After brunch I went to visit some other long-time friends who also live on the lake. We've been friends for at least 14 years, a treasured friendship, for sure. They were just here a week ago but we will never run out of things to say. I visited with them for a few hours then drove home feeling very relaxed and happy.
I don't have any friends from childhood that I keep in touch with regularly anymore which is kind of sad. Facebook has put me back in touch with some of them but it's not the same as visiting in person. Age, or I'd like to call it maturity, has changed my view of friendships, new and old, but especially the old. My one friend who I visited with today once said, while the olympics were being aired on TV, that we have 3 kinds of friends, gold, silver and bronze ones. All are important, but a person can only have a few gold medal friends and I need to hold mine dear and be proud of those friendships like a medal, because being a gold medal friend is worth the hard work of staying in touch and not taking them for granted.