a few "imaginary" friends (as I sometimes refer to the people I know only through the virtual world of the internet) of mine have posted beautiful posts in the past on the idea that people come into our lives for reasons, for seasons, and sometimes for lifetimes.
Whether or not I agree with that categorization, there's something special about the long-term connections. The "lifetime" friends.
The people who have known you through the awkward periods. Who have seen you bawl over inanities, celebrated the good moments with you.
With whom you literally have decades of history. and the stories can be referenced with a few words.
Tomorrow, I might be grateful for the friends I've made in the last 1,5,10, or 20 years. Heck, I'm always grateful for these friends.
But tonight, an extra bit of gratitude for the friend I've known for more than 2/3 of our lives. El Bandito and I had a drink with her and her new husband (married in May, second marriages for them both) tonight. May her happiness last this time. And may we always fall back into the easy rhythms of conversation and love. We've fallen half-out-of-touch so many times. Our paths diverge. And yet?
I was among the first people she called when her mother died.
She saw my engagement ring before I did.
We've watched hockey games together, in person and by phone.
Cried happy tears at weddings and used far too many long-distance phone cycles.
And there's the certain knowledge I can pick up the phone at any time, and if it actually matters, she'll be there.