There are days when I think I must be one of the most fortunate people in the world–this status based entirely on the quality of the people who have offered me their friendship. What would I surrender, or contribute , to keep these people in my life? In the past week, I have laughed much, thought deeply, considered new ideas, and found myself smiling for no reason beyond gratitude for:
My closest friend, my near-sister, with whom I share the joys and challenges of parenting, shopping, secrets, marriage, unexpected life events, professional stress, thoughts about body image, middle age, and daily laughs.
Her husband, who is the living embodiment of loyalty, who hates needing anything from anyone, but who gave in this week and allowed us to be there for him, for once.
My oldest-newest friend, who I re-discovered after almost 30 years. She, who knows me from childhood, who accepts everything, who opens her heart and mind to anything, who grounds me and lifts me.
My “girls,” who round out a group of lively, smart, engaged, powerful women who combine motherhood with careers, fitness, philosophy, and humor.
My most respected colleague, who can talk with equal appreciation about books, movies, teaching, aging, Alzheimer’s, bodily functions, playwriting, and ecology, and who has not only watched, but helped, my son grow up.
My newest friend, who makes me laugh out loud, who is explosively brilliant, whose sensitivity and empathy comfort me in times of stress, who challenges me to dare myself to new accomplishments.
My “big brother;” the one who built my confidence as a runner many years ago. He of the foul language, with a heart as big as his personality, a mind that operates at hyperdrive, and a soft spot bigger than he will ever admit.
And that’s just this week.
There is no greater gift.