And the subject for today is... best friends.
Last Wednesday was Best Friends Day, no doubt an American import started by Hallmark cards. Like all these 'Days', I don't subscribe to them, being of the opinion that if you need a special day to tell Mum/Dad/Grannie/Grandad/Sister/Brother/pet dog/ Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all, that they mean a lot to you, are special, then it's a pretty rum do. You should tell the people you love that you love them, without a prompt. Being loved is one of THE most special feelings, don't you think? Loving someone is pretty special, even more so if it's returned. But let's not get on to unrequited love, this is, after all, meant to be an uplifting post. Sort of.
So, what constitutes a Best Friend? What sets one friend apart from another? Longevity of friendship? Sharing of deep and darkest secrets? The one 'go to' friend who will never let you down, always has time for you, no matter how busy their own lives? The one you feel most comfortable with, who has seen you at your worst, and your best, and loves you warts and all? Well, probably all of those.
These days, it is my husband who is my best friend. He knows all there is to know about me, though there are some things I keep to myself. But he is the one I can offload onto, the one who holds me when I am blue or in need of a hug for no reason other than it would be nice to have one, the one who listens to my ramblings, my moans and whinges, laughs with me at the silliest of things sometimes, the one who looks after me when I am ill (which happens too often for my liking), the one who makes fab pancakes and who is learning to cook so we can have decent meals when I am unable to cook.
But I have been lucky and had two Best Friends in adult life. H, same age as me, spontaneous, funny, always there if I needed him, generous, discreet, and darned sexy too! We were friends for twenty years, until he got himself a young wife who wanted him to cut all ties, and so they moved abroad, rarely to be heard from again by family, never heard from again by his mates. Then there was Grace, older than me by more than a decade, not a substitute Mum, more your favourite Aunt. We spent time with each other every week, talked on the phone several times a week, gardened, baked, shopped, laughed and cried together. Her death from cancer many years ago now, was one of the hardest things I have had to come to terms with, and I was asked to write the eulogy for her funeral, which was read by her niece who is an actress.
I still miss her so much, so often things happen or come to mind that I want to share with her, ask her advice on, moan about. We were good at moaning.... putting the world to rights as we thought it should be. This was one of the last photos of her, taken in the pretty garden of her Norfolk cottage.
So, neither of these are around any more, and although I miss them, I don't really miss the notion of having a best friend who isn't related to me. I have some really close friends now, wonderful ones who have been with me all my adult life in some cases. Some of them know most of what there is to know about me, some know the superficial stuff, and that's fine, they don't need - or probably want - to know more. They are penfriends, not people I meet up with. I don't have anyone I meet up with, and that too, suits me fine these days.
Does that make me sound like Billy No Mates? Maybe, but that doesn't bother me either! My life is a quiet one from necessity, but more by choice. It is made up of crafts, art journalling, books, our beautiful garden, simple pleasures of watching old black and white movies together, sitting quietly reading together, cooking together, the occasional outing, and for me, meditation as well since I became Buddhist. It's not a life to everyone's taste, but it suits us both. Completely different to twenty years ago, but then, so am I.
I hope you have a Best Friend and that you don't need a special day to tell them how important they are to you.
To my special friends, thank you for being part of my life. And we're not done yet!!!