One is Silver and the Other’s Gold
You have probably heard the saying, “Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”
I have been so fortunate in my adult life to have friends of 40 years and beyond. My home in Houston (40 years!) has rewarded me with the best quality of people to have adult lifetime friendships with, and I appreciate them as when I moved here, I had no family members nearby.
Most of the friends I made in my first few years after moving here, especially when my children were little, are still my close friends. They could not be loved any more by me than if they were truly family members. (And the feeling is mutual) When a celebration is in order, (pre-Covid of course) they were always there for me, feting the occasion. One of the reasons I love Houston so much (just one reason, as there are others) is the deep, loyal and true friendships formed here. My friends would go to the ends of the earth for me, and they HAVE, and I would do the same for them. I am one lucky lady.
Unfortunately, as life happens this way sometimes, I have lost about five close friends to disease and illness through the years. These devastating losses felt no different than if I lost a family member. Still their memories and mark on my life will never be forgotten.
As another lucky element of my life, I also have friends who I have remained connected with from childhood and teen years. (I am in my mid-sixties so this is going back well beyond 40 years.) Facebook has recently been great at reconnecting me with others from my past, and high school reunions were great for that when I traveled 1600 miles back to Philadelphia. These old friends from way back are like treasures to me – when I reminisce with them, it is like opening that treasure box each time for the memories I have and they share with me.
Not that I am counting, but I have more friends than many, and I have always had an active social life (pre-Covid of course) with lots of invitations to share life events. They make my life full; and the blessings of family and friends makes me absolutely so wealthy. I am always grateful for the wonderful family I have made, and for the friends than enhance my happy life.
I am also lucky to have homes in two places: my year-round home in Houston, and my summer home in Margate. I have wonderful quality friends in both places and I pick right back up with my summer home friends each summer as if no time had elapsed.
Loneliness has been absent from my life, fortunately, and I must say here that I learned early on that you must BE a good friend to HAVE good friends. I give of myself and I am always there for my friends and I have pared down to absolutely reciprocal giving-back types of people. I listen when they need an empathetic or compassionate ear, and they listen when I need the same. I am naturally a giver so this works well with my personality type, but I am also wise enough to know not to have people who are only takers for my closest friends.
The reason for this blog though, is that this past summer, I was fortunate enough to reconnect (due to Facebook) with one childhood friend (Brownies, Girl Scouts, Teen Sorority etc) from my neighborhood, who I always loved and adored due to her kindness to everyone.
Another old friend I hadn’t seen for years except for some reunions had some time with me while I was in New Jersey and that felt so special too.
Also this past summer, I reconnected with a bestie from my Phillies Girl days – I went to her wedding and we saw each other socially and frequently until I moved away in 1981.
In both cases, it was a miracle of re-connection where we talked as if there had been no time lapsed at all in between our previous get-togethers. In the first case, it has been almost 50 years since Barb and I last connected. Yet, we talked for four hours straight in our brunch together and the bonds felt like they never left as we were so comfortable sharing everything with each other. Here is a photo of still beautiful Barb. (inside and out)
In the case of Karen, it has been 40 years since any connection, and again, when we met, the warmth and love was still there and we talked effortlessly for hours and caught each other up. Here she is and she is still gorgeous too. I did not realize how much taller I was than her! And she drove to me while wounded as you can see – that is devotion.
Afterwards, I marveled how that re-connection can work, with such a long absence in between last meetings and today. It is almost magical to experience this. These older friends from long ago are truly golden to me.
So, you see, with my Silver friends, and my Gold friends, that is a lot of precious metal to possess, and I am rich beyond all measure.