My mom just celebrated her birthday. I won’t say which one, but it was a major milestone one. We wanted to do something special but my sister and I couldn’t come up with anything special enough. We knew she didn’t want a party. My husband, ever the introvert, said “If It was me, I’d want a visit from one of my oldest friends.”
So we set it up. Flurries of emails and text messages passed back and forth, making sure all the while that my mom didn’t accidentally find out. My mother believed my sister and I were taking her to breakfast. So I arrived first and we chatted. My sister waited for our surprise guest, my mom’s oldest friend and her husband. They rang the door bell, I let them in and my sister got the whole thing on video.
I’ve never seen my mom so surprised, but also so pleased. Of course there were tears of joy, from almost all of us. Because no matter how old we are, we always need friends. My mom has lived seven hours from her oldest friend for her entire married life. But they’ve always managed to pick up where they left off. Sometimes they see each other once a year, but in this case, it had been nearly five years.
I’m in a season of my life where friendship is hard. My days are filled with tiny people with big needs. A quick smile and wave on the way out of church, a conversation at MOPS, the occasional Facebook or text message; these are the ways I manage to connect in small ways. But it’s not the same as a girls night playing games or a long conversation over coffee. It’s hard to build the kind of friendship that will last through the years, but somehow my mom has managed that.
So what does this mean to me? That it’s worth preserving relationships that matter, even if it’s inconvenient or difficult. But it’s also worth pursuing new friendships as awkward as it can feel in the beginning, because you never know when you might create a connection that could last.