This Way

This Way by tielji
This Way, a photo by tielji on Flickr.
I have been thinking a lot about friends.

What is your definition of friend? Do you have many friends - or just a couple and the rest are just acquaintances? Do you have lifelong friends - or friends for a season?

I define friend as someone who can have a conversation with me at any given time of the day, on just about any subject. A friend will ask about my kids. A friend nods knowingly, with a half smile and twinkle in their eye when I recount (maybe in repeat) an escapade involving either bf, parents or rugrats. A friend knows when I an about to cry and quickly grabs a tissue or tells a silly joke, causing my tears great confusion - are we crying from laughter or despair? A friend will interject positive reinforcement when it comes to a conversation regarding me that might be going south - even if I am not present. A friend maintains hope that I will achieve what I set out for - even after I have failed to reach those same goals before.

A friend lets me see when they are hurting. A friend tells me about their bogey monster and does not feel like they need to candy coat their fear. A friend lets me hold them in a fierce protective bear hug when they are reeling from one of life's inevitable right hooks. A friend doesn't expect me to have the right words to say - and doesn't feel slighted when I have no words to say at all.
A friend laughs at my attempts to be clever and witty when I try to lighten the moment. A friend appreciates my effort to make them feel loved even when it's done with banana bread that tastes horrible.

A friend doesn't judge my value by what I wear, where I make my money, where I live, what I drive, who I love, where and who I worship, or what color my skin is.

My friends expect the best from me, forgive the worst about me, promote the vision of a perfect me, and appreciate the me that I already am.

And I am grateful to be blessed with more than a few friends - lifelong AND seasonal.
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