Over the past few months, my husband and I have been looking for a new church home. At one church we visited, we ran into a couple we hadn’t seen in years. One of them made the most honest, striking comment.
She said, “Now that I see you, I miss you so much!”
After we visited for a while and then went our separate ways, I couldn’t stop thinking about that statement. I suppose it could have been a little insulting, to hear that she hadn’t been dwelling on our absence from her life all this time. But, really, am I any different?
I have more friends who live far away from me than I do friends who live nearby. If I let myself focus on how much I miss each of them and our relationships, I’d be crushed with sadness.
That’s why I’m so thankful for relationships that are strong enough to endure time and distance. And I’m even more thankful for the every-once-in-a-while visits with those heart friends.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the BFF (best friends forever), wondering if it’s a myth or a real possibility. Specifically, I questioned the practicality of calling long-distance, living-separate-lives friends true, best or forever.
“Sure, we can all be Facebook friends. But long-term, spend-quality-time-together, share-dreams-and-secrets friends? I don’t think you can maintain that kind of relationship with dozens of people you only see sporadically, if at all.”
As I continued writing out my thoughts in that post, though, I essentially talked myself out of that sad outlook. And last week, as I reconnected with two different friends, I confirmed that flip-flop.
My friend Jacqueline and I haven’t lived in the same city for six or seven years. Before that, we only knew each other for about a year. Yet, our personalities mesh in an uncommon way, and though our e-mails and visits are few and far between, every time we’re together I’m reminded of how much I love her. Last week she happened to be in town and we met, with our daughters, for breakfast.
We had less than two hours to catch up (and eat our pancakes), which was certainly not enough. But it was enough to remember how much fun my friend is and to start planning a road trip to visit her this fall.
Later in the week, my family traveled a few hours to visit friends for the weekend. We shared meals and stupid jokes. Our kids played together, and the husbands did their best to cause trouble together. And my friend Sally and I stayed up way too late, talking about everything that crossed our minds.
Some friends are forever friends. Some friends are welcoming at any time of the night, comfortable in any season, truly our heart’s home. And I’m so glad to have realized how wrong I was to even consider that friends you don’t see every day aren’t real friends.
Whether it’s a quick breakfast, a long phone call, a grown-up slumber party or a milestone birthday dinner, I’m going to take every chance to connect with those forever friends – no matter how long it’s been. Because once I see them, I realize how much I miss them!
What do you think? Can long-distance or every-once-in-a-while friends be true, forever friends? Who do you miss whenever you see them?
By Mary, Giving Up on Perfect