There is such a good spot in our hearts for lifelong friends! I was born and raised on a little farm in Montpelier, Idaho. There were seven of us girls in our high school who loved being together on weekends. We mourned for those in our group who occasionally got dates because we girls would be having so much more fun. We called ourselves "The Gang", a term our children giggled at once they were in high school. To be politically correct, they would much have preferred the use of the wildly popular acronym BFF (Best Friends Forever), but that would have been "Chinese" to us farm girls. Even though we mostly scattered after high school, went to different colleges, married people with widely different backgrounds and occupations and have different lifestyles, we have loved staying connected. On June 1 and 2nd we're having a reunion and we are all atwitter about the prospect of being together again.
Another group of lifelong friends began with music in Boston. Four of us got together occasionally, with spouses sometimes cheering us on, to play string quartets while we all lived there. The first violinist, Jeff and cellist Tony, were doctors getting degrees at the Harvard Medical School in Boston and the violist, Kathy was a premier musician working in the Boston School system. She got me my first job there, even though she didn't know me from Adam before we arrived. She was already established in the music scene and I will be forever grateful for her recommendation and support. Richard and I had been recently married and he was attending the Harvard Business School. Kathy and I were helping to put our husbands through school. That next year, we got pregnant the same week and we often stopped by the roadside on our way to school so Kathy could throw up, a feat which I never quite accomplished even though I wished I could! She gave birth to twins and I delivered our oldest child within three days of each other.
All of us moved hither and yon after graduation but as serendipity would have it, our quartet members have all landed back in Salt Lake for about the past ten years and have loved getting together to play, reminisce and talk about politics. Jeff is an internationally known heart specialist, Tony, a widely acclaimed urologist and Kathy is a fabulous music educator. Both Jeff and Kathy (husband and wife) play in the orchestra at temple square. How luck am I? Last week we played a couple of movements from the Beethoven Quartets for a class on Beethoven at the University of Utah. It required actual practice, which we relished and we had so much fun performing together.
My book club also contains 13 best friends forever! The richness of their friendship has given my life depth and breadth. We've been through hard times, challenging assignments and joyous events, not to mention wonderful books together. Once we counted the number of children we had among us. With the average being about seven per mom, the number was astronomical. Last week we watched a short video of a picnic with the kids many years ago when everyone was just starting their families. What a delight it was to see all those babies and toddlers who have now grown up and have myriads of children of their own!
Best friend create such delicious memories! I happened on to a poem by the great Christian writer C.S. Lewis in a comment on our daughter Shawni's blog (71toes.blogspot.com) after she had a recent high school reunion with six dear friends. It pretty much sums up how I (and hopefully many of you) feel about Best Friends Forever.
"In Friendship…we think we have chosen our peer. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting—any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances.
A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends “You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.” The Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of others."