I love the way true friendship manages to survive so much neglect and then like a flower, with the first drop of water, it blooms again in all it's many-hued splendour!
Having said that, true friendship is rare, and we need to hold tight onto our special friends with all our might.
I am so blessed and so grateful to have several very special friends who continually enrich my life in so many ways. Someone once said to me that good friends are the family members you choose for yourself, the ones who know all your faults and yet still love you!
A few years ago, one of my cherished friends passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. I was shocked to discover just how big the hole was that her absence created in my life. I remember a few days before she died, I woke up in the middle of the night with a sinking, heavy feeling of loss deep within and so many words and thoughts tumbling around in my head, and I just could not imagine never being able to see her again.
Just last week, whilst clearing out the drawers in my desk, I came across the words I wrote down that night when I finally realised that she would leave.
I find myself contemplating life without you
And I wonder how I will talk to you
Will I find a way across this immense space
That separates our different worlds?
Will I pick up my silent mobile phone
And somehow know the numbers to dial?
Will I hear your voice in the cafe where we used to meet
And look up to find you sitting right there?
Or will I continue to see at the very edges of my vision
Your red hair glowing in the invisible air between us?
As I lean out into the void of sorrow
Looking for a sign of where you might be
I feel your hand, rock solid on my arm
Pushing me back into the world where I belong.
From time to time I still feel her presence in my life and remember her red hair and all the things she used to say, the things that made me laugh so loud and so long.
Good friends are never forgotten and I treasure the times we spent together - the heartfelt advice, the joy of watching our children play, the meals we shared, the countless coffees and wines we consumed together, the sometimes heated discussions when our opinions differed, the gossip, the ten years of conversation on every topic under the sun!
And I know I was extremely blessed to know her and to count her as a friend.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, "A true friend is the best possession."