52 Weeks 500 Words
This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.
"Friendship is the greatest intangible construct conceived by the heart, mind and soul. We love our families, we adore our children, and yet it is true these are connections created by blood and genetics and time. We would absolutely not function as whole beings without our family connections, but friendship is about choice. We choose to love a stranger and the stranger becomes ‘family’. And it doesn't end there. We do this again and again throughout our lives – we make connections with strangers and wonder how we ever did without them in our lives.
Some friends fall away, often due to circumstance or geographic changes, and we remember them fondly.
Some friends, of those moved away, remain true friends forever. If by chance we meet again, it is as if no time has passed. The connections are still in place.
Others may become something else, having made a decision or taken on a belief we can’t comfortably accept. We do accept their changes, but gradually our connection stretches into distance and we move apart, although we live mere houses apart. We still greet, but the closeness is missing. On the flip-side, we may make the decision or choice a friend can’t deal with.
Friends made in childhood often don’t travel into adulthood with us, and we keep only the memories of good times.
And some childhood friends remain friends for absolutely ever!
Sometimes people are thrown together, such as in a work place, and we become friends. Some of these friends become part of our lives and we connect outside of working hours, but often we are merely accommodating and nice to each other in that environment in order to function as a team, and we don’t see each other anywhere else.
And then there are those we have never met in person and yet connect with daily in the virtual world. We connect and find much in common. Are these friends? Absolutely. But if we do meet, the truth is there is a 50-50 chance of that friendship translating into the real world as well. We may or may not connect with that person face to face, but it doesn't mean the time spent sharing online via email and Facebook isn't a connection to be treasured.
Sometimes a family member becomes a true friend. This is a connection that goes beyond shared genetics. A cousin, for instance, can be the best friend ever.
Sometimes we connect with members of the family we married into. A sister-in-law or brother-in-law may become a true friend. We are family, but there is no shared genetics. Even if the marriage that enables the family connection falls apart, we remain friends.
My point is, friendship is very special and takes many forms. Treasure friendship, reach out for the connection that speaks to us. However long it lasts, we learn from each other and we create memories and moments we may place in our little treasure chests we carry around in our hearts."