did you ever know someone for your whole life? yes....and did you ever know them to surprise you again and again? some friends, very good life long friends....that you may not see that often....you may not talk that often....you are separated by distance from these good old friends.....your lives have moved in different directions, so you think.....and still, every time you talk...you know each other so well that you don't have to explain yourself....it's just like yesterday....yesterday seems like years and years ago and at the same time like minutes ago!
that's ginny. she has been my friend since i can remember having friends. ours is a friendship that came about organically. we lived near each other...our families were friends...we went to the same school...the same church...brownies...girl scouts.....and....we played at polliwog.
i can't remember not having my friend ginny in my life. sure, we had other friends, we've moved, we've lost touch and reconnected many times....we've always remained good old friends.
we've lived and weddings, wakes and funerals... it's just how life is. i find the gift of friendship to be the biggest gift in my life...besides family. although, many of my friends are my own creation of family...
when grace was just 5 and t.j. 3 1/2, our phone rang....it was ginny to let us know she'd like us all to be at her wedding...she wanted grace and ted to be there with us....she had never met them....this was her chance. from such a huge family with 9 brothers and sisters and so many nieces and nephews, i was flattered to think she cared enough to have us there....and our kids too!
we went to the church where we both were baptized....
and all of the little kids sat up on the altar surrounding the bride and groom....her husband was her dream come true....i was as happy for her as she was for me on my day....biff loved her too.
the first wedding grace and t.j. had ever been to was as fun as a kid could imagine. formal and traditional.....my friend stepped to the dance floor with her dad....we waited for daddy's little girl to begin.....a song i loved so much....and the band began....
"hoist up the john b. sail, see how the main sail sets, call up the captain ashore, i wanna go home!......"beach boys"
.......her dad was john b. and they did sail together! that was ginny! that was my friend! grace and ted loved weddings....and we always think of ginny whenever we here that beach boys song!
what's the expression? "you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family!"
i've seen pillows that say,"friends welcome anytime, but family requires reservations!"
i'm blessed to love both family and friends. since i am much younger than my two brothers, i've found my own sisters along the way....maybe to compensate.
i love my brothers.....even though they still treat me like i'm twelve. it's hard for grace and t.j. to understand that. they try. grace and ted have the good and the bad of being only sixteen months apart and one grade apart. they share the same friends if they happen to be in the same place....they no longer play together...ha! they no longer "hang" together...they both go their own ways and if they happen to cross paths, they all know each other.
that was not my life with family. my brothers were close in age as well....then, i arrived 8 years later. biff and i laugh about it....two brothers with their together dynamic for 8 whole years.....and then...KABOOM...this baby girl arrived.
i'm sure that was a difficult adjustment....for them! i was just fine. i had my life. i loved it...i could play with everyone and still go home and have my stuff. i had these two very big brothers who were family yet we lived in different worlds.
it only came as shock to me as i began my teenage years...i thought i had grown up....i thought i could understand them since i was so mature....but NOT. NEVER has that day come. STILL i imagine that day might come....but really, no. it's just not meant to be.
oh, don't get me wrong! i'm blessed to have two wonderful brothers. they've been very good to me. very good. they have been protectors. they have been baby sitters. they have been there. they are forever my big brothers. apparently, i'll always be the little sister...which isn't so bad after all....especially as i get older!
well, it's only logical. by the time i was in 4th grade, one brother went to college and in 5th grade both brothers were off to college. they were back...but they worked. they got jobs...they had cars...they were at woodstock!
even since i've been married and had babies, then toddlers, school kids, teens....and they still treat me like i'm twelve. i can only imagine it from their point of view....
back to my friends...i'm grateful. i'm grateful that my friends are so close...that we all treat each other like family....not pets with a pat on the head!
although, in our family, we treat our sweet pets with lots of love!
just yesterday, the mail arrived...with a giant package. the package was from ginny.
i forgot about our facebook chat. we have been in touch...especially christmas cards...maybe a birthday here or there....now we've become friends on facebook!we have reunited with lots of "friends"....old and new....just like bumping to each other on the street at home or even polliwog, friends pop up with funny comments, lots post literary quotes, status or day to day ironies, some post words of encouragement or reminisce....and that's a great connection...it's a potpourri of people and poetry and polling and poking fun!
friends pop up unexpectedly and randomly and comment on life and make a thoughtful comment or photos of family and brighten the day....randomly...we cross paths on facebook with friends and family too.
recently, ginny posted pictures of family....all of her brothers and sisters and their families and more. the faces are familiar and bring back yesterdays and yesterdays more....i smile again and again as i click...with tears in my eyes.....as i see familiar faces and their eyes and smiles in the next generation....and my day is happier...brighter.
ginny posted photos of her artwork...pastels and sketches and portraits and seascapes. i was in awe of her spectacular work and her artistic sense and talent that i had never known......after all these years!
i had to post comments.....like, "wow!", "i can feel the ocean in this!", "look at that sky!" and one that made me gasp!
my post said, "this looks just like grace!".....i could feel her spirit....i could see her jumping over the dunes! i could smell the ocean air and take pictures of the perfect beach day....i could smell the coppertone!
ginny posted some comments on my wall as well. we made little connections throughout the months since we've officially "friend-ed" on facebook!
she said it was in the mail. she said it was for me...she said it was because i said it looked like grace at the beach!
it just arrived! i could barely speak...a rare thing....biff was with me when i opened the large box.....filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts.....they spilled out as i tugged at the bubble wrap covering the framed pastel...
i tugged and tugged and tugged....biff and i finally got hold of the tightly wrapped masterpiece. we began peeling back the tape that held the bubble wrap securely.
i was rambling about good old friends....i was rambling about how unbelievable that my friend would just send it to me......me......just because i said it looked like grace.
we got it open....i held my arms wide open to hold up the gold frame with the beautiful blue pastel sky and green grassy dunes.....
i cried tears of joy....my friends are my family! for life! i'm grateful.