friend -noun A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
A pretty basic definition but not really very warm or "friendly". I am really lucky to have the friends I do.
There are my friends like Brenda who I've know forever, or Little who seems to be my best buddy this summer, my mom, Medium and Big (although at 15 and 17, it's not always easy to like them!) and my husband, who is most certainly my best friend.
I have friends that I know because we met on a message board over 9 years ago. We were all pregnant at the same time, all due in August of 2000. Some of them I've met, some I haven't but we have been there to support one another through some pretty rough stuff and also there for each other to celebrate some huge accomplishments. Our "babies" are all turning nine this month and we have grown to be very close friends. They are amazing woman and I'm proud to know them.
I've had people ask me if it's really possible to have real friendships when you've never met the person you're talking to. I know it is possible because I have a more than a few of them. Friends who are moms of boys, and friends I can compete against in a nice "friendly" game of Scrabble.
I have friends that I can be silly with, I have friends that I can have deep conversations with and friends I can tell anything to because I can trust them implicitly.
I have friends that can provide a listening ear and just know when to say, "I understand" because that's all I really need.
I have my work friends that I miss during the summer months. We keep in touch to some extent, but never as much as we say we will. During the school year we are like next door neighbors, waving to each other from across the hall or having a quick conversation during an elevator ride, venting to each other when we've had a particularly rough day and sticking our heads into a classroom door just to smile and say "hello". Over the summer we're all busy doing our own thing which is the way it should be.
Some friendships are difficult and the ones worth keeping are worth the extra effort. But, when does it become too hard? When you're disappointed over and over? When that friend breaks a trust, or just plain makes it too hard to be a friend. I'm not talking about friends that just grow apart for one reason or another, but friends you have to let go of because the friendship stops being healthy. I wonder if people like that were truly friends to begin with?
So although the definition of friend certainly describes what a friend is, it doesn't describe how it feels to have a friend. I know that feeling and for me it comes in many different kinds of people.
I hope each and every one of them knows how important they are to me. I guess this was just my little way of telling them.