I had a very cathartic experience and I have a very good friend to thank for it. A friend who listened and reacted and tried his best to help me. And did help me. And as I drove home from my visit with him, I thought about everything that happened. I thought about what he did for me and it was beautiful. But something made it more beautiful still, and it's this: He's not the only one who would have done it.
I have, in my life, some amazing people. Some amazing people who love me and want what is best for me. I've alluded to that before, but I rarely celebrate them here in a way in which they deserve.
The intricacies of my relationships with these wonderful individuals I call my best and dearest friends are many. I cannot begin to explain every lovable quirk, connection, and moment shared between us, and I could never fully express all the beautiful things they are. I can only hope that I am successful in demonstrating my gratitude for their love and all the love I have for them in return.
I was thinking about the things real friends mean. I came to more than one conclusion, but if I could share a few, I think I would start with these:
Your name is safe in their mouths.
They have open invitations for you to come into their homes.
They allow you to feel as comfortable in their homes as you do in your own.
With them, the "mundane" is paradise.
They trust you with their hearts and hopes and dreams.
They're willing to let you be a support and know that helping them helps you.
They'll sing with you loudly and obnoxiously when the right song comes on.
Still, with them, silence is comfortable.
They make your cheeks hurt on a regular basis from smiling and laughing.
They share their secrets with you.
They make you feel special at times when you feel far from it.
They know when you to push you, and when to hold fast.
They step outside their comfort zones to hold you when your heart is breaking, and don't let go until well after the tears have stopped.
They love you harder and better after a rough spot.
Your friendships are only stronger after they have been tested.
They experience your emotions with you. Happy, sad, excited, hurt, angry, and all others.
You can vent to them and be understood - either immediately or because they have strived to get there.
They allow you to express your emotions in whatever way they manifest.
They forgive you when you've been foolish.
They take you back after you've been wrong.
They know that you aren't perfect, but will pretend you are when you're feeling down.
They inspire you to be a better person.
They put up with your quirks and eccentricities, and even kind of love you for them.
They embrace the things you sometimes wish were not a part of you.
They notice when you've been missing, and more so miss you when you're not there.
You are so comfortable with them that you can be at your silliest without even noticing.
They are often silly with you.
They never judge you, but are more than willing to judge with you.
You can call on them anytime.
They try to find the right words when you're in need of them.
They offer continued support, and can discern whether it need be vocal or silent.
They understand that sometimes you need to be coddled, and sometimes you need a dose of reality.
They know that they don't need to impress you, but still strive to be a great host.
They make you feel like a part of their lives, even from what feels like a million miles away.
They know what you're thinking, and don't always make you say it.
They take charge when you're at a loss, but also know when you need to stand on your own two feet.
They offer to be a sounding board as well as devil's advocate.
They ask you to be a part of important celebrations and milestones in their lives.
They consider you to be an important celebration in their lives.
They know those little one word inside joke/memory triggers, like "oranges" or "railroad" that will always make you smile.
They never make you feel excluded from the goings-on of their lives because you're in a different place in yours, but rather invite you in to experience their reality with them.
They remind you everyday, by their existence alone, that God has blessed you beyond belief.