The friends I am closest to have been my friends for years. Recent research shows that people replace about half of their closest friends every seven years! The definitely does not apply to me. I am very selective when it comes to letting people into my "inner circle". I have to know that they will be there for me forever and unconditionally. I have come to realize that I am basically not trusting of people in general and they must prove to me I can allow them in. I am often very closed with my emotions and feelings (in person at least, on here I lay it all on the line). Throughout my life I have been blessed with some friendships that I believe will last forever.
I met Terry my freshman year of college. He was head over heels for my girlfriend and she was difficult, to say the least. We became friends through our discussions about her. Today he is one of my dearest friends. He has always been there for me and he was the only person who ever stood up to my Father when he would treat me poorly. My Dad quickly learned to not talk down to me in Terry's presence as he would not tolerate it. Over the years Terry has never missed my birthday! I always get a phone call, text, or email from him to say happy birthday. While we live thousands of mile apart, I know if I truly needed him he would jump on a plane and be here for me. Thanks Ter, I love you!
Bob, aka Bad Bob, I met while working at Grand Canyon National Park. I spent 5 years working at the park and loved every minute of it. Bob and I worked in the maintenance department together. While we both had significant others we still managed to spend one weekend day together exploring the Kaibab National Forest. Over the years we lost and regained contact many times, always picking up right where we left off. After TJ died and I bought the new house I was speaking on the phone with Bob's girlfriend about how I think with the new house I may have bitten off more than I could chew as far as remodeling goes. She suggested that Bob (she called him my brother) fly out to help me as he was unemployed at the time anyway. She handed the phone to Bob and without hesitation he said he would happily come help me. Bob came out for 3 weeks and did nothing but work on my new house the whole time he was here. That, my friends, is true friendship! He expected nothing in return as he was here just to help his friend. Bob and I will be friends forever, I am sure of it.
I could go on and on with my special friendships: Ed, he went to high school with my ex-husband and now we live within a mile of each other; my sister (Alberta), we have never had a period where we didn't speak and I truly love her; my brother (Mark), we are not in constant communication but I know he is there for me; my first boyfriend (Greg), we have a truly unique friendship that has lasted throughout the years; my best friend from high school (Mary) we only reconnected recently and you can read about our friendship here.
Now I have my bloggy and twitter friends, some I have met in person and some I have not. Regardless of meeting in person, many have become very special friends to me. I have my local IRL friends that have supported me in person the over last few years. I am sure if I were to rewrite this 10 years from now some of these people would be included.
Take a moment to think about your "forever" friends. Friendship for life - what a great concept!