This column is about friends.
Before writing it, I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if there is an official Friends Day?’ So I did the Google.
Turns out there is an International Friendship Day. It is July 30.
Guess which day I did this particular Google? Yep. July 30. I took it as a sign.
There are no coincidences when it comes to serendipity — or friends. Apparently I’m supposed to write about friendships this week. It’s a lovely topic because I’ve been surrounded by friends of all types throughout my lifetime (so far).
To my old friends who have been around for it all:
You will never be old in my eyes (or heart.) Thank you for staying by my side throughout the years. You’ve seen me at my best and my worst and you’ve accepted both. For that, I love you.
We all have those friends who seem to stay in our lives throughout love, loss, youth and the decades beyond. They are beyond worth. Acknowledge them as such. Hug abundantly.
To old friends who have emerged from the past:
I am so thankful for you. You knew me then and you’ve stepped forward to know me now and that feels so much more than generous on your part.
I’m glad we have reconnected. It feels new and old in the best of ways. Hello, again! I’m glad we’re growing again, together.
To new friends:
I appreciate you more than you know. You are willing to take a chance on me, an unknown weirdo, in the name of friendship. You are willing to invest the time and energy it takes to do that, especially with someone who has the baggage I carry. You well know about my baggage and still offer me grace and acceptance. Both gifts I don’t deserve, but am so grateful to you for offering.
To widows and widowers I’ve met who have become fast friends:
I’m sorry we are in this club, but I am glad we met. You have supported me in ways only those of us in the club can. I hope I return the favor.
Our bond is one we never wanted, but it is real just the same. Our losses have brought us together and cemented relationships that others may not understand. But we do, and that is all that matters.
To my family;
Beyond blood, you are some of my best friends. I love you and am so grateful for you. You are my rocks. You’ve lost, just as I have lost and still we hold one another up. If that isn’t miraculous, I don’t know what is. You are the greatest gift your dad and our dad and mom ever gave me.
Finally, to old friends who will always feel like new friends because they are my best friends:
You know who you are. You were the people I called in my most dire days because I knew you would listen. You were the ones who called me when you knew I was hurting because you wanted to listen. You were there for me because you love me and that will never, not ever, be overlooked or forgotten.
This year, July 30 was officially International Friendship Day, but we all know we don’t need a special day to appreciate friends. Quite the opposite.
We can celebrate them everyday. Every moment. Today, I celebrate mine. All of them. All of you.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.