I hid behind the refrigerator with my friends at a neighbor’s house, waiting to scare the neighbor’s Mom, who was coming through the door. Unable to hold in my giggles, I ruined it by drawing the others to giggles and soon I was laughing so hard that I peed my pants, causing the others to laugh even harder while the Mom stared at us in bewilderment.
My third grade crush insulted me in front of the whole class, but I held in my tears until it was recess time. My friends surrounded me and hid me from view, ready and willing with hugs that soon mended my broken little heart.
My best friend and I stayed up late, playing MASH, and giggling. We were so afraid of anyone finding out our secret desires of who we wanted to marry that we tore each paper up after it was filled, and flushed them down the toilet.
It was our first middle school dance and we were so excited. I met my friends at the dance and not long after I arrived, wearing my tiny mother’s dress that was way too adult for me, I proceeded to rip the seam up the back almost to my butt while doing the running man (as a joke). My friends stayed around me in a circle the whole night so no one would see.
It was the night before a big test. I met my best friend at her house and we quizzed one another relentlessly and every time I missed a question, she thought of a way to help me remember the answer.
We sat on the kitchen floor of a friend’s house in a circle, eating cookies and telling each other funny stories. “OK, don’t make me laugh,” I warned them. “I’m going to get up because I have to pee. Don’t. Make. Me. Laugh.” As soon as I stood up, one burst into giggles and the rest followed suit. I crossed my legs as tight as I could while I squealed with laughter, but it was no use. I peed all over the floor and my friend’s Dad came running just in time to witness the glorious event.
Swimming at El Dorado Lake, the wind caught my inner tube and, wanting to show off to the surrounding boys, I quickly took off after the float. Not realizing how far I might have to swim, I started to panic as I reached the halfway point, trying to float on my back to avoid drowning as I sputtered and gasped for air. Suddenly, my best friend was beside me and gave me her float before swimming after the runaway float. She probably saved my life!
We walked in the procession to pomp and circumstance, eager, excited, and sad. Would this be the end of our friendship? Would our separate journeys as adults divide us? What did the future hold?
It was my big day, and I’d just gotten married. I hugged person after person who went through the reception line, and I kept looking to see where my best friend was. She waited until the very last to join the line and when she hugged me, she burst into tears. “What’s wrong?” I cried. “I just feel like, you’re leaving me behind. That you’ve found a new best friend.” “No, we’ll always be friends,” I promised.
We were painting addresses on curbs to make some extra money, and my best friend and I came across a freshly paved square of sidewalk. Looking at each other with juvenile orneriness dancing in our eyes, we conspired together and wrote on it: “Let me out! I’m underneath this square of pavement!” before jumping in the car and taking off in a fit of girlish giggles.
We got a job together at the same place and sometimes I’d find a note underneath my windshield wiper after work that would make me bust out in laughter.
She brought me to Christ, is my long distance pen pal, makes recipes she finds on my blog and uploads pictures and pimps me out on Facebook, which always makes me smile.
We walked to the park with her kids and my other bestie, and when the latter joined the children in playing on the playground, we gave in and joined her, realizing how fun it is to let loose and not let the expectations of adulthood inhibit us.
We take vacations and weekend retreats together. We call and text each other with good and bad news. We mail each other packages and letters, share our favorite music by sending CDs. We email frequently. We buy things impulsively that reminds us of one another. We rejoice in each others’ triumphs, and console each other when tragedy strikes. Through the years, I can say that I made it through them joyfully because of my friends. Friendship is one of God’s greatest blessings to us because when we call on Him for comfort, it seems like that is how it is delivered, through a smile, kind words, a hug from a friend.
And then there are my online friends, who are just as important to me as my real-life face-to-face friends. Our connections vary in depth, but every one is a blessing to me, bringing me joy daily, and comfort in times of distress. Some I confide in, baring my soul to them, including some readers who I know through no other medium than my blog. Some have become so close to me that I do consider them real-life friends, even if I’ve never seen their face other than in pictures. You know who you are. :)
Thank God for my friends. You are my “quiet angels,” and I dedicate this song to you.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis