Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Value of Friendship

Friendships mark our days from our earliest beginnings. But do we ever recognize their value in our lives?

My first friend was a girl named Nicole St. Pierre. Her family lived next door to mine in Bramalea, Ontario, Canada. In 1968, her mom was pregnant at the same time as mine--Nicole was born one day short of a month later than me. 

We grew up together, like sisters more than friends. Our mothers often dressed us the same--Nicole a dark haired princess and me, a fair little fairy. 

Nicole and I shared toys and dreams. We were the shining lights in each others' eyes and cherished our friendship like none other.

Until she moved away.

We tried to maintain our friendship, but we were still little kids--I think we might have been eight when her parents moved. A few years later Nicole moved back, and we rebuilt our friendship as best we could. We knew enough, then, that a friendship like ours was a rare and special thing.

But children are swept to and fro along with the whims of their parents, and so it was with Nicole and I. We managed to stay in touch for the most part, but never had the opportunity again to reconnect with the friendship of our childhood.

I've had a few friends since Nicole. It's interesting though that I see a pattern in my selection of friends--I seem to have but one real friend for each time of my life.

From birth to grade eight, it was Nicole. Then Laurie from grade eight to thirteen. In university, there was Peggy. In my grown-up life there is Sheri.

I have many more friends as an adult than I ever did as a child/young adult. I'm more capable, now, of having 'lighter' friends--not every friend has to know all my deep, dark secrets. But it's nice knowing that someone out there does. 

I haven't always valued the friendships in my life. I've been far too quick to lose touch, to not give the friendship the time and effort it deserves.

I'm writing this because I've recently realized that I am doing that again with Sheri. She is an true friend and so far she has always forgiven me of my lapses in being a good friend. She is the most amazing of friends and deserves better from me.

The value of friendship is something I want to truly appreciate. I don't want to grow old and discover I don't have any real friends left because I didn't treat the few friends I had with the love and respect they deserved. 

Each one of my closest friends, and all those who I am now blessed to call friend, are wonderful and amazing in their own way. They are all unique from one another and I am a better person and my life more rich for knowing them.