I just got a call from a friend I've known for 31 years. She was in our ward and neighborhood for a few years and then moved. We've stayed close. We hardly ever do anything together anymore but it doesn't matter. She calls and it's like time has stood still.
I remember one time one of us called the other and said, "We need to talk." We met in some little dive and had dessert. We both said, "I've got some bad news." We talked and listened, cried, hugged and took deep breaths and got on with our lives. It was comforting to know someone else was dealing with hard times while I was too. I wanted her life to be easy, wanted mine to be easy too, but it wasn't. We grew stronger together.
We used to sneak away when we could and go to late movies together. It seems like that was the only time we could schedule, when the kids were taken care of and in bed. We've laughed more than is believable. Phil says he always knows when I'm talking to Cheryl on the phone because of all the laughter.
I don't know what my life would have been like without Cheryl in it. When we bought this house it was second choice. The house we really wanted, the one we had an offer on, was sold to someone else for a cash offer. We didn't blame the seller but we really were kind of "bummed." How glad I am that didn't get that house. So many things would have been different.
Things work out. Life goes on. Friends come and go but some stay friends forever.
I have a lot of those forever friends. When I see them it's like I open my heart up and let my vulnerability show. I can do that. I trust them, they would never betray me even though our lives only touch occasionally. They are old friends. Best friends.
Some old, best friends are even relatively new but they already have the "old" and "best" friend label. I know where they'll be in twenty years. Right where Cheryl is now.
I am blessed.