Not really a dog post today because I just got some amazing news and just had to expound on the subject before I burst.
There is nothing like hearing the voice of an old friend to bring back the memories of yester year. One of my long time friends, Deena, just called to tell me that she is moving from Scotland to Boston, a mere 10 or 11 hour drive away. I know the visits we make may still be few and far between but distance and time mean nothing to some friendships. She is the kind of friend who, even if you haven't talked for months, simply picks up the friendship exactly where it was left months ago as if no time had passed. You dust off a few details, catch up on old and current events and fall into comfortable habits. It goes without saying that she will always have my back, can tell me like it is, knows me better than I know myself, and understands my strangeness and habits. It's part and parcel in a relationship with someone you have known for 19 years.
You choose friends and I know I have been utterly blessed with people in my life who decided to stay though thick and thin. Deena and I met in high school and although we were not immediately great friends through our early teens we became quite close in our grade 12 year. From there we maintained an intimate friendship despite long distance moves(mine), marriage(hers), another long distance move(hers), children(hers), dogs(mine) and another long distance move(mine). Some things you can't quantify and her friendship cannot be pinned down with mere font.
There are other influential friends who deserve mention, namely Tanja who I have now known through many many hard times and ups and downs for us both. We don't talk as often as I like and I'm still waiting for the day she announces she is moving to Prince Edward Island! It would be a dream for me to have my two best friends in the world on the east coast - selfish I know but dreams have been known to come true. Tanja is indescribably generous of spirit, puts up with much more in me than I deserve and she and I have plans to be sitting on a porch swing in our 80's and talking about the good old days.
An honorable mention, which may raise a few eyebrows, is Philip. He and I dated for years before finally allowing the relationship to breathe it's last gasp several years ago. Philip is almost certainly the person I have learned the most from in as far as character growth. He is the person I think of when I need advice that is uncolored by emotion. He is rational, logical and realistic but his advice is almost always spot on. Knowing him for the past 13 years has definitely improved my life and I am sure I added a little color, for at least a short while, to his.
Each of these people has managed in large part to shape the person I am today. If I'm doing something goofy that I probably shouldn't, blame Deena. If I seem strangely patient and understanding, thank Tanja. If I seem cold and indifferent blame Philip. It's a credit to these people for putting up with me for so many years. Here's to many more.