Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reverb10 December 16 – Friendship

December 16 – Friendship #reverb10
How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
(Author: Martha Mihalick)
When this prompt appeared in my inbox, my heart actually went flip-flop! A friend? Singular? Out of the whole year? My friends change me and my perspective every day!
Then I thought a bit deeper and ended up realising it was my oldest friends of all - or, longest-known: old implies they are old or the oldest people I am friends with, neither of which is true - who continue to be my rocks.
This friendship circle was created in our first year of high school - S and I were already firm friends since I moved across the road from her when we were about 8, K had been at primary school with us both and J was in the same class as them when we all arrived at secondary school: I just came with the package!
Yvette with a camera has always been at hand!
Here we were about 17/18.
We were a "gang of four" over the next four years we spent at school, went on to party briefly as young adults and then all married in our early twenties. Various arrangements of bridesmaids in early 80s dresses! 
It is my wedding that is missing - there was a photo taken,
the first in the series, but sadly we can't find a copy
As three of the four started families (while the fourth starting a heart-breaking battle with infertility), we drifted away as we found our feet as independent adult women, staying in touch with Christmas cards and major life moments. It was not intended, perhaps not even realised, but our life paths took us in different directions, with some connection remaining close, while others stretched apart.
June 2008
Then when we were 30-somethings, we regathered and began meeting for lunch (about) four times a year, around each of our birthdays. Our children grew up (or never arrived :( ) and we nurtured each other through the highs and lows. We continued to get older, reaching our milestone 40th birthdays and soon looking back on them! We are now all approaching the next life-stage - menopause creates as many questions and answers as puberty did just a short time ago!
Three quarters of the circle - October 2010

All four marriages are still intact. Those same shoulders to cry on that got us through first broken hearts will be there again, with tissues and chocolate, if needed. Those with children are becoming grandmothers, mothers-in-law and empty-nesters, with new challenges that our mothers were faced with only a few years ago! Parents are aging or have gone, careers have paused, changed, stopped or never appeared.
Soon we will no longer by 40 somethings - how will our lives be when we pass the half-way mark? What will mid and later life bring? Most importantly - where will we next have lunch!

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