Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friends are the family that you choose

Friends are a very important to me, and mine are the greatest in the world. Most of them I have known for years, while others are more recent. I even have a great community of online friends who encourage me, whether it be losing weight or saving money. Each friend is unique in their own way and even if we do not see each other for awhile we pick right off where we were the last time.

First off there is Julie. I have known Julie since I was four years old. Her family had just moved onto our street and she was five. She was riding her bike around one summer afternoon and noticed that we had a swingset in our backyard. My mom and dad happened to be out doing yardwork and she asked if she could play on it. My mom then took her into our backyard and introduced us before we went down to Julie's house to make sure it was alright. Her mom was so happy she found someone her age to play with sent us on our merry way and we played for hours. We became fast friends. We were there for each other throughout our childhoods. She was the first person I called when something good happened, and the first when something bad happened. We got each other through the loss of grandparents and getting into college. She went away to a school three hours away but we never lost touch. E-mail and phone calls became our communication of choice and when she came home we always got together a few times.

She now lives and works in Indiana full time. We talk on the phone a ton and get together whenever possible. She could not come home, due to work obligations when my dad passed, but she was the first one to call and we talked for hours, laughing and crying. It was exactly what I needed from her.

Then there is Rachel. Rachel and I met in fourth grade after her family moved to town. Rachel is deaf and learning sign language was a challange but well worth it. She and I played softball on our church league together and when she got her cochlear implant we enjoyed the sounds of the Backstreet Boys together. We lost touch for a bit after high school.

This past summer we reconnected through facebook and now meet every month for coffee to catch up and just have fun.

Finally there is Tiffany. She and I met while working at a grocery store six years ago. Her best friend Lauren also worked with us and the two of them worked it out so we could go to lunch together one day and we became instant friends. We hung out after work, going to dinner or hitting the beach in the summer and even after we both left the store kept in touch. We have celebrated birthdays together and even worked together again at the most hellish workplace ever. If I ever need encouraging words or some to tell me to get up off my ass I call her. She calls me for the same reasons.

Lately we have not been hanging out as much because she has been working fulltime while getting her massage therapist degree. She finally finished last month and I could not be more proud of her.

There are tons more but these are the ones who I am closest with. These people are my family just like my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins are.

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