Last night I made dinner for a friend and her family. My friend’s husband was in a mountain biking accident and suffered brain damage. His broken bones and flesh wounds are healing. But it’s going to be a very long, slow road to recovery. Because of his brain trauma, he’ll be spending countless hours in physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
My friend and I live just fifteen minutes apart, but we don’t see each other often. We stay connected through sporadic phone calls, texts, and Facebook posts. We met eighteen years ago, when our oldest kids were in preschool together. After that, my two girls and her three boys went to different schools, so we grew apart. But we’ve always known we’re there for each other — no matter what.
It’s hard to find close friends who will stick by you, through good times and bad. It takes work to build strong relationships.
Sometimes I get angry with myself because I don’t put enough effort into maintaining and building my friendships. I tend to take friendships for granted, figuring they’ll always be there. I know better.
I can’t count the times I’ve said, “Oh yeah, we definitely need to get together soon,” and don’t follow up. Life gets busy and it’s easy to get distracted.
I know women who are great at calling friends, planning lunches, and coffee dates. I’m envious because they always seem to be connected. They put friendships first, even though their lives are equally as busy as mine. I’ve let opportunities slip and have regretted that. Felt anxious and guilty about it.
Case in point is my relationship with the friend and her husband that I visited last night.
A year ago my husband and I went to dinner and a show with them and had a great time. I kept telling her we must get together again for another double date, and dinner’s on us. Weeks turned into months. I never phoned her to make plans. It was always in the back of my mind. Some day.
Last month I got the horrible news that her husband was in the tragic mountain biking accident. We never went on the date I promised would happen.
Don’t wait. Because we’re never sure what the future holds.
Thankfully, my friend’s husband is improving. He’s expected to make a full recovery. But that will take months.
My friend and her husband were so grateful I brought them dinner, and it was wonderful to visit with them. They’re thinking of moving out of state. Not soon, but it’s on their radar. A lower cost of living and a simpler life sounds intriguing to them.
I will keep in touch. And we will go on another double date.
Image courtesy of: http://www.alegoo.com/pictures7/words-friends-4/true-friendship-020/