A friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself ~ Frances Ward Weller
Friendship isn’t one big thing. It’s a million little things ~ Anonymous.
Friendship is built on mutual respect and trust ~ Stieg Larsson
Strangers at first, we built a friendship word by word. Words we spoke and words we wrote. We learned about ourselves and each other over decades of sharing ideas, personal memories, and experiences. It did not happen immediately. It took time to build our relationship, a bond of trust. There were four of us, Sally, Linda, Jackie, and me, at the core of our writers’ group that lasted years. A few others joined for a brief time and left for a variety of reasons. The group has now run its course, but the friendship endures. Over the years we had many dinners, lunches, and breakfasts together. We shared millions of gut-busting laughs and quite a few tears. We had overnights and out-of-town trips together. We slept on the floor next to each other. We shared beds in unfamiliar cities. We explored cities, towns, and countries, attended workshops, and took classes together. The tapestry of respect and love is tightly woven thread by thread.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about a memory I have of a dinner celebration the three of us, Sally, Linda, and I, had together. We went to a restaurant and in the parking lot we found a token of kindness hanging from a tree, Ben’s Bells. I wrote that I retrieved the token from the tree and had it hanging above my desk as a reminder of that time together. Sally later reminded me that it was she who retrieved the bell from the tree and had it in her studio at home. The next week she gave each of us, Linda and me, a ceramic token in remembrance of that date. The token that hangs above my desk is even more precious to me because Sally wanted us to keep that memory as she did.
I have a great memory for experiences, but I do not necessarily get all the details right. I remember the sensory aspects, the emotions, like pictures in my head that can be easily misplaced in time and space. My husband and children often correct me when I tell a story. Yes, the event or experience happened but it happened in a different place at a different time. I’ve gone to other relatives to corroborate some of my earliest memories. I’m so happy to have witnesses to my life, but it does not preclude my enjoying memories in my own way.
Sally, being the chronicler of our group – she has a scrapbook of all our escapades and calendars kept over time – is the go-to person whenever I want to authenticate a memory. I love that about her. I treasure her ability and willingness to keep things straight. She knows me and laughed when she read the post, then reminded me of the facts. Thank you, Sally, for being my tolerant friend.