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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Silver and Gold

"I get by with a little help from my friends." ~John Lennon

While whirling through the curves and hills of highway 6 one evening, I noticed a soft glow coming from my purse cluing me in that there was a message trying to reach me.  I pulled out my phone, promising Eric I would continue to watch for deer for him.  With a click on my screen the light diminished and I was taken to a message from a very good friend from my early teenage days.  As the words formed together and collected meaning in my brain, my eyes welled with tears.  I tried to retract the wetness from my lashes, but they spilled over and down my cheeks, with my heart knowing exactly why I was crying.

I had lost touch with my best friend: the girl I grew up with, dreamed with, cried with, fought with, and shared secrets with.  This realization struck hard, like a lightening bolt, and suddenly I was illuminated with self awareness:  I miss my friends.

When you're 13 the most valuable things in your world are your friends.  Whether you have many or few, there are always some that you are closest to.  The ones that help hide embarrassing secrets on how you really broke your wrist, the friends you share the details of your first kiss with, and the girls that know exactly where your most recent pimple is yet still tell you no one will notice it.  There is something unique about the friendships you gain in middle school, some sort of bond that sticks you together like glue through the next 4-6 years of your life.  Memories you created in high school are memories that last for years to come; stories you share later in life with new friends who just don't appreciate the humor and meaning as much as the friends you shared it with.

Change has always been difficult for me.  Leaving for college hit me hard-I was thrown into an unknown world and forced to figure life out without my two best friends there to analyze with me.  I certainly got myself into some trouble a few times and am thankful for the friends I made in college that helped me through some trying times. 

Yet, although Cedar Falls began to feel like "home" and my friendships grew, it still wasn't the same as my friends from home.

As life progressed, only a few of my friendships from college continued.  With new situations come new friends.  It took a few years but I finally found a group of wonderful friends in my current town.  They have become my family away from family.  Our children are friends (sometimes!), and we depend on each other for help when we have no family to lean on.  I am so fortunate to have this group and love knowing that when stuck between a rock and a hard spot, they are always there to help pull me through.

Although my Newton friends are like family, it still isn't the same as my friends from back home.

The friends that grow up with you truly KNOW you.  These friends will forever understand you because they know and understand where you came from and who you once were.  And maybe I struggle to let go of the past but that night in the car the words my friend wrote-"I realized I have no idea what is happening in your life but if anyone would ask who my best friend is the first person I still think of is YOU!"-clung to my heart.

It is hard to keep in touch, and too often something has to go wrong in order for friends to reconnect.  This past fall was the first time I had seen one of my best friends in a very long time, and sadly, it was because I went to sit with her while her husband was having a brain tumor removed.  Of course I want to be by her side when she needs a friend the most, but I also want to be there when everything seems right.  While my past friends know me best in the past I know it is no reason to lose touch with them in the future.

 I vow to myself, to my past friends, and my present friends that I will do better with keeping in touch.  Life is busy, but it should never be too busy to call, write, or visit a friend.

My title of this blog, Silver and Gold is from a song called "Make New Friends" My elementary school music teacher taught us this song years ago. She recently passed away due to cancer and her daughter was a friend of mine throughout elementary school.  She was a wonderful teacher who touched the hearts of many, and while I never understood the meaning of this song when I was 8 years old, it makes sense now.

"Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other's gold."
"A circle is round, it has no end.  That's how long I want to be your friend."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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