Too many kinds to count…
This week many people observed National Best Friends Day. I think it’s a nice idea to recognize the value of friendship and to appreciate the people who add such richness to our lives. It got me thinking about the many “best friends” I have enjoyed over the years…and why I can’t really say that I have ONE best friend.
There were the earliest friendships I enjoyed with my brother and cousins, before school started and we met all those other kids in our age group. Even though I am not as closely in touch with my cousins as I’d like to be, they are in my heart always, and I would give any of them anything I could offer if they were in need and I could help. We share memories, blood and decades of love.
Then came the school friends, those people outside my family circle, the ones I met and learned how much we had in common. Those moments of discovering that we liked or disliked the same foods, or shared a favorite song or hobby, were the youthful foundations upon which some of my longest-time friendships were built. I am still in touch with some of my grade-and-high-school friends on social media, and seeing how their lives have progressed to this point is both fun and rewarding.
The church and college friends began my deepest connections, ties that bind us across years and miles to this day. My college graduating class has a milestone reunion coming up this fall at homecoming, and I look forward to seeing many of my classmates there to reminisce about our times in the dorm and the music building. My roommates especially helped me bridge the transition between living at home with my parents and making a new home with my husband. I crave in my heart to see Janet and Dana, and soon. It has been WAY too long since the three of us have been together.
These days I am still making college friends through my connections as the Chapter Mother for Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity at Carson-Newman University. Getting to know these young student musicians and to encourage them has been my joy for almost 10 years now, and I hope to continue in this capacity for many years to come. My musician friends come in all ages, shapes and sizes, with specialties ranging from voice and instruments to conducting and composing. These friendships help me to continue growing as a musician and as a human.
I’m grateful that almost every job I’ve held has yielded one or two lasting friendships as well, and since I’ve worked in predominantly male environments, I refer to some of these fellows as my “work husbands”. At my first TV job, there was only one other woman in my department, a top-notch board operator named Linda. We referred to ourselves as The Gyno Mafia! I have a dream team of current and former coworkers I would surround myself with if I ever had the chance to build my own company. The combination of professional excellence and wacky humor makes work a lot more fun, and shared goals (and grievances!) give us much to share.
So many other “best friends” come to mind. Mama and The Aunts who wait for me in Heaven. My precious husband, who, after nearly 30 years of marriage, is still my favorite person to spend time with. And our beloved, goofy dogs, Ernie The Wonder Beagle (in Heaven) and Our Boy Roy, who has been part of our family for almost 9 years now.
So, who is my “best friend”, really? They all are! And if I spent the rest of my life counting the reasons I love them, I would never finish.