By Tammie Allegro
A few years ago I was given some great advice pertaining to friendship. I was told that some friends come into our lives and are meant to be there forever, while others are only meant to be there for a season. When I first got this advice, I must admit I thought the person meant, literally, a season, like winter, spring, summer or fall. But what they actually meant was that not everyone who is in our lives at the moment is meant to be in our lives forever.
Yet sometimes we know when there is someone who will be a “forever friend.” It is that one person who we can call at 3 a.m. and she will be there. For me, that friend is Denise Colley. We met when I was 4 years old, and my first memory of us together was at my fourth birthday party when she took a toy away from me that I had gotten as a gift; I hit her and took it back. We should have known then that we were meant to be friends!
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always peaches and cream with Denise. We have been through fights, which have resulted in months and even years of not talking. However, each time we see each other, even after a long time apart, it is like time has stood still just for us. When she calls me and says she needs a friend, I am there. And she definitely returns that courtesy in spades. We are each other’s event planners, sharing important milestones. In fact, she just helped me with my daughter’s sweet 16 party, and now I get to return the favor by helping her to plan her upcoming baby shower.
There is something different about a forever friend. Our lives are better when they are in it. I find myself thinking of ways to spend time with her. And, when we aren’t hanging out, we still think of nice things to do for each other. When we fight, we fight bigger because it matters more. When we cry, our friend is strong for us because we need them to be. We love each other deeply because we trust each other with our darkest secrets. It is a constant give and take, ebb and flow.
This past August 8th was an emotionally significant date for me. It was my birthday, the 28th anniversary of my friendship with Denise, and it was her wedding anniversary. As I reflected back on the years, I felt so thankful to still have her in my life. Just before my birthday, Denise and her husband, Evan, called me to tell me they were expecting their first child. I was the first friend she called. Not because she had to, but because she knew that I would be just as excited for her as she was for me when I made that same call to her about my two girls. That is what friends do. We share the great moments together and we also shoulder the heartaches.
How about you? Do you have a “forever friend?” Tell us about your friendship and what it means to you.