I’ve seen a bunch of these posts on Facebook lately about friendships – and how true friends can go long periods of time without talking and then just pick up as if they spoke yesterday.
I believe that. I know that’s true. I have those friends.
We have also been indoctrinated by the idea that those who stand by you in times of crisis are your true friends.
And I believe that. I know that to be true. I have those friends, too.
Friends I can call upon at any time of the day or night if I NEED them. If I have an emergency or if I am in crisis. Friends who wait at the hospital with you, bring food when you have surgery (sometimes) or someone dies, and show up at the funeral. They are the people you just know will take your child when you’re suddenly ordered by your doctor to the hospital to have a procedure done (true story).
And there are truly fair weather friends – those who are around to congratulate you when you’ve done something well but not to commiserate when you’ve fallen on your face.
However, I believe that true friendship is built in the small things. In the everyday moments. In the lunches spent talking. Bench conversations while your children play in the park. Phone conversations into the night – or while on a 2 hour car ride by yourself. As we move forward more and more into the age of technology – friendships are built in the e-mails which come for no reason, the texts which pop up just because you’ve come to mind, and instant message conversations while you multi-task in the rest of your world.
They are the people who realize you are in a dark place even without seeing your face or hearing your voice and the only thing they know are the words you type in a message box on a computer screen. All the while you’re fooling people you see or speak to routinely, many of whom are those “crisis” friends.
They are the people who come sit on your bed and talk to you while you clean up your room, and your home, when the mess has become overwhelming. The people who clean your bathrooms and mop your floors while you vacuum and do dishes and the laundry which has waited too long because your sister (or your in-laws) is on her way.
They are the people you call to have lunch just because you’re having a blue day and you need to talk. Or not talk. And they come. Regardless of whether their own home needs to be cleaned or they were supposed to go to the grocery store, or they were having their own bad day and wanted to sit in their recliner and watch mind-numbing television.
I’ve been having trouble lately figuring out the difference – I guess that’s part of what this post is about – elucidating the distinction so I can understand myself.
And lest there be no misunderstanding – I have friends (acquaintances) who squarely fall in all these categories. I am grateful for the crisis friends. I share life and love with my true friends and realize the blessings they are in my life.
Thank you, friends!