My husband has friends he’s known since preschool. Real friends. A couple of them are friends on Facebook, too. But most of them say things like, “I don’t have time for Facebook.” They don’t really care about Twitter or Instagram, and don’t even mention Pinterest to them.
They stare blankly and listen politely when it comes to social media, because they prefer a phone call to a status update any day.
Last weekend, my husband and I drove 800 miles each way to spend the weekend with the crew. That’s what these guys do. Whenever one of them has a life event, the rest of them move mountains to be right by their side. This time around, one of the guys was celebrating the graduation of his youngest child from high school. Not everyone makes it every time. But if one of the guys can’t be there in person, he makes a phone call to let his presence be known. (Maybe someone should tell these guys about Skype.)
At the party, I hung out with the wives and girlfriends of these men who’ve known each other so long. We took pictures of the guys and we listened (again) as they exchanged their most-loved and best-told stories from days spent together as kids, and then adolescents, and then teens, and adults. No matter how many times we get together, the stories never grow old. We laugh until our cheeks hurt and I have to walk away to catch my breath.
“They’ve really got something special.” I heard it a lot that evening. Complete strangers watched this group of men, now pushing (or clinging tightly to) fifty, and we all knew their friendships were for real and for life.
I leaned my elbows on the table top and took a minute to really see them. I wanted to figure out their secret, because friendship like theirs is more than sharing a common history. It’s more than driving 800 miles for milestones like weddings and babies and graduations.
You probably already know their secret. It’s simple, really. “I love you.” That’s it. I listened to these men say it over and over again. Unashamed. Heartfelt. Sincere. True.
It’s the reason they treasure their common history. It’s the reason they drive for miles, or catch the 6 AM flight from the east coast, or tell the same stories and laugh until their sides ache. This is the secret to friendships that last a lifetime: loving someone – really loving them – and not being afraid to let them know.
By: Deidra, Jumping Tandem
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