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Hicksville Voices

Friendship: A Priceless Gift

Friends are a very important part of my life. While family comes first and my husband and daughter are well aware of their pricelessness to me, my friends keep me sane in a very crazy world. They have been there through all the tough times, and I have been blessed to have quite a few who I could easily call members of my chosen family. And they are valuable to me in their own special ways.

Someone once noted that in a group of friends, there is always a sensible one, a silly one, a quiet one, a crazy one, and the one with the most heart. A statement such as this lacks merit, for people have depth, which should be cherished. These pals of mine are multifaceted, which makes their value even more precious. One cannot merely like a person based on the part of them that “is funny”; what about the rest of the person, including the not so “funny” parts? Friendships fail sometimes, for many reasons, but one great reason is because of the lack of desire to love all of a person for who they truly are.

My friends have kept me going, through all of my tough times. Our stories help us to bond, for in those tales that we relate, we find a common thread. We realize the camaraderie that we share as women, as daughters, as mothers, as wives, as human beings. “No man is an island,” John Donne so eloquently noted. Meaning, one is nothing without others, and cannot survive without others. I like to think of friends fitting the bill here.

Throughout the years, groups of females have been primarily responsible for the upbringing of their young. In the animal kingdom, as well as throughout humanity, friends assisted and bonded together in order to help the next generation to survive. The importance of kinship throughout life is an essential part of the joy that comes from just being alive. This is why I love my friends.

Girls Night Out is a wonderful time to get together and just be myself. (Although sometimes, I wish GNO occurred more frequently) Stories are swapped, advice is given, laughter is shared, and the general feeling as we all part is a feeling of kinship and higher energy — it’s almost a feeling of “Hell, I got this!” It feels that good.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing some time with a friend who lives in my neighborhood. I still recall her sage advice to me, many moons ago, when I was a fledgling mom. Since her child was several years older than mine, she could completely understand the sheer terror that had overcome me, regarding playground issues with young kids. Her advice, “Little kids, little problems — big kids, big problems” has seen me through more than one sticky situation, and I’m grateful for her wisdom. It’s moments like these that are golden. This is why I believe that the Girl Scouts had it right: “Make new friends, but keep the old — one is silver, and the other is gold.”

There are friends that I don’t see quite often enough. There are friends that I can pick up with, after a lengthy absence, and it seems like time never passed.  I’m so grateful for social media, as well, which has enabled me to reconnect when travel is impossible, or when Life is just busy being Life.

My parents once told me, “Never lose your friends.” It’s something that I’ve tried to instill in my own child. Life is tough, but when you have friends (and family) to support you, it makes life that much sweeter. To friends!