Learning how to be a friend

Most of my early life was spent traveling with my family as we moved from one air base to another. I enjoyed the different places we lived. I liked traveling. When dad retired in 1971 I wasn’t ready for it and told him, pleaded with him to wait so we could go more places. He was finished and we stayed in Tucson. I still have that restless gene. I was a Junior in high school. Except for several months I lived with my aunt in Arlington, Texas I was stuck in Tucson. I graduated from high school, married, had my two children and stayed in Tucson. It was not what I wanted but that was how it was.

The problem with my early life as an Air Force brat and this steady relocating was that I really never made long term friends.

If you know you will be leaving there is no need to make attachments. I didn’t know how to make friends. Humans need others for balance and support in life. I didn’t understand that concept. I had my family and my parents friends and their families. In many cases these people moved with us. Yet I cannot say I had any close friends. I was pretty tight with my cousins but they always lived somewhere else.

I didn’t really didn’t know what a friend was.

In my early 30’s I went to work for a group of heart surgeons. One of the women hired to do filing was about 10 years younger than me and having the time of her life living in a new town and making friends. She was fun and interesting and did things I was curious about and wanted to hear about. We struck up a friendship. Rather than talking about kids and illnesses and doctor appointments she was going out dancing and taking weekend trips to Mexico. I had done the bar scene but going with a group of friends to festivals and the beach in Mexico was never in my flight plan.

One day she asked me to go to Rocky Point with her and after a call to my husband to clear it with him I said sure. Just like that.

That began the discovery of what friends were all about. We are still fast friends to this day. We have shared secrets and dreams, and been there for each other through all those life events that mark our time on Earth. All of those sayings about what friends are apply to she and I.

She has been my friend for nearly 30 years. She taught me how to be a friend.

-N

 

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