Childhood Friends….An Unbreakable Bond
Famed British author Alexander McCall Smith wrote “You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically – but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.”
When I think of steel I think of something un-breakable, strong and grounding much like a select few relationships I have in my life. One such friendship is one I have with a childhood friend that began in the first grade. Forty years ago(Yes, I am that old) two six year old little girls climbed up the daunting steps of their perspective school busses and met in a first grade classroom in an elementary school in rural Virginia. Those two little girls would soon become friends and spend the next seven years in the same class. As they got older class assignments were more complicated but they remained friends. Time marched on and one of those 17 year old girls graduated from high school a year early and set out on her own life journey leaving that life and her friend behind; something she would regret for many years.
I was one of those little girls; the other, my dear friend Trudy. Throughout my childhood into high school Trudy and I were always friends; memory fails to recall a time where we didn’t get along. When she was 12 (I think) Trudy’s beloved father passed away. I remember bits and pieces of that time and always wondered how she was able to get along without her daddy. Somehow she managed and years later she welcomed a wonderful stepfather into her life; a man she cherishes with her whole heart to this day.
Trudy and I reconnected in December 2008 through social media. Keeping in touch became important again and in October 2011 we met face to face at a high school reunion. Twenty-six years had passed since I left high school and in an instant with tear filled eyes, a few squeals of joy and a long embrace the gap of lost time faded and two long lost friends vowed to remain connected forever. Second chances are simply the best.
The gift of a friendship that spans a lifetime I believe provides us with a sense of strength and comfort unlike any other. Having a connection with someone you grew up with, someone you knew as an awkward teenager and entered into young adulthood with provides you with a history to fall back on; a road map if you will. My life is better because of Trudy. As forty-something’s we find ourselves with grown or nearly grown children, entering into the second half of our lives taking comfort in the familiarity of our deep rooted friendship. Life took us down completely different paths only to have those paths cross just when we needed it most; she is my chosen sister and I am hers.
I encourage you to seek out those old familiar friendships, re-visit the history that has led you to this point in your life and make every effort to stay connected. There is a deep richness in old friendships that cannot compare to any other. I thank God for Trudy every single day and know that no matter what life brings she will always be there waiting to laugh, cry, celebrate victories and acknowledge defeats with me. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”. Dig deep into your soul, examine your heart for those footprints and much like Cinderella’s prince trying on the glass slipper when you find the foot that fits, hold onto it, cherish it and take care of it because it is one of the most important relationships you will ever have.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!