dear friend...

for fun this evening i was looking up words in the dictionary.  yes, i think that is fun. 

i was so struck by Merriam Webster's definition of the word friend:

friend: one attached to another by affection or esteem

in fact, reading the simply placed words again, i can feel my mouth curling into a smile, and my eyes begin to tear.

i have few friends.  i can remember times in my life when i was surrounded with friends, when i had hundreds of friends, when friends appeared around every corner... but looking back, those weren't really friends at all.  they were acquaintances, they were people who helped make 4th hour earth science a little more bearable.  they weren't friends.  looking back, i always had few friends.

i am wary of attaching myself to anyone or anything.  i find it difficult to esteem anyone.  people will only let you down.  i have had true affection for very few in my days on this earth.

perhaps this is wrong.  perhaps this is a way living without really living at all.  perhaps i am jaded and cynical.  but perhaps in having few friends, i have been able to experience the truest form of love and affection and esteem.

i have never felt alone, i have always known who stood beside me.

i have never doubted i was loved.  those people were always sure to not just to tell me, but show me, the love was there.

i have been appreciated and esteemed far more than i deserved.

i have been shown affection, like only a true friend could.

over the years i have chosen to put people by my side who will be there no matter how my ass grows. 

over the years i have chosen to put people by my side who will stand up for me, and not whisper behind my back.

over the years i have chosen to put people by my side who encourage me, who strengthen me, who make me a better, truer me.

over the years i have chosen few, but those who i have, have not faltered.

some friendships i sort of fell into.  matthew and i had no choice but to become friends.  i was already friends with his brother when he arrived to college.  he was roommates with my cousin.  we were friends before we even met.  and once we did meet... we became friends.  fast friends.  years later, we fell into another kind of relationship, we fell in love.  years later, we are a family of 3 dreaming of becoming a family of many more.

some friendships i was forced into.  my closest friends in the world, the people i know will never leave my side, the people i miss the most when we are apart... are my cousins.  jennifer and april.  from the day we were born, we spent countless hours around each other.  we were made to play together, and sleep together, and bathe together.  we were family.  but we were so much more.  they became my sisters, my friends.  when something good or bad happens to me, they are the first people i want to call.  i dream of living next door to them, so our kids can grow up as close as we were.  they love me no matter what, they can tell me when i am being an idiot without it hurting too much.

some friendships were made out of desperation.  when i arrived at college, i was lost and confused and knew i needed to find a friend.  the first person i met was my team leader.  she quickly became my friend, and bundled me up so i could bare the could walk to the cafeteria all winter long.  she became my roommate, and my confidant, she became my friend.  though i see her rarely now, i think she knows i love her.  she knows that i would never hurt her meaningfully.  on that first day at college i noticed a tall smiling blond down the hall from me, and smiled back.  when we had our first activity later that night, i began talking to her; most memories from college involve her.  i see her still sometimes today in our busy lives, and i will always love her.

some friendships had rough starts.  rachel's boyfriend always hated me, for some reason he didn't like us hanging out.  i chose to hate him back.  they are married now.  and i love them both.  i giggle about the past and the stress it caused me in college, because today, they could not be more perfect each other.  rachel and i had so much fun in college.  she made em laugh, and was always my choice friend to take into new situations, she loves people an makes me feel less awkward in large crowds.  she has bailed me out of hard situations.  i know she prays for me.

some friendships last a lifetime.  lizzie and i met on the playground in 2nd grade.  we swung on the small side of the playground together.  she lived up the street from my grandma and grandpa, and sometimes we played outside til the sun would set.  years went by, and our friendship faded in and out.  we had rough times, we had good times,  we were not always the best of friends.  today, i call her my best friend.  i will stand next to her when she gets married next month.  she has chosen the most wonderful man to spend the rest of her life with.  it doesn't matter how many days or weeks or months fall in between our conversations.  i doesn't matter the miles in between.  she will always be my best friend.  she will love me, and i her, until we take our final breathe.

some friendships you have to take for what they were, what they become.  holly married my cousin, she was very close friends with my brother in law.  we didn't always love each other.  in fact, the feelings may have been a little stronger than that.  but one day she invited us over for wine and boardgames, and we realized we are the same.  we love celebrity gossip, and decorating our new homes.  we blog and write, and wish we could do it all the time.  our answers are always similar, we think the same things all the time.  she is very thoughtful and thinks of others far more often than she gives herself credit for.  she is brave and honest and a hard worker.  she is like me, but thin and blond with not as much make-up or jewelry.  our crazy life with baby boy has dwindled our wine and game nights, but i still call her my friend.

some friendships last only a short while.  they are meant to help us get through a certain time of our life, and when they pass, it is okay.  some friendships end in hurt.  harsh words, broken hearts, a wonder as to why you were ever friends at all.  some friendships are not mean to last forever... they fade out as your life changes.

i can count my friends on my hands, not all were given time in today's post... but being my friends, they will not take this hard, they will still know they are loved.

as i have heard my mother in law say many times as of late... relationships are messy.  and that is so true.  they are messy.  and allowing people into your lives makes your life messy.  but without the messy, you also don't have the joy.  without the messy, you also don't feel the love.  without the messy, you can not be attached with affection or esteem.

i constantly battle this in my own heart and soul.  i don't want the messy, and so i keep myself from attaching too quickly.  i don't want the complications, so i keep myself at bay.  i love who i have in my life, i do not feel alone... but perhaps i am missing out on other love and affection and esteem.

perhaps there is room for just a few more.  perhaps i need to open up more.  perhaps i could count my friends on both my fingers and my toes, and still have all the joy and love i do now.  or perhaps, this is all i was meant to be.  perhaps, i have experienced the best of friendship, and this is enough to carry me through the rest of my days.                    


  1. Dear Melinda Sue,
    I loved your blog today. You struck so many familiar chords. Taking that first step in a relationship is so hard. I do however believe that God has a hand in this, as he does in all things... we just have to choose whether or not to listen. The blessing is when God puts His hand on two at the same time, and both listen. Those can be the amazing friendships...
    But you are so right in that people are brought into our lives for different reasons, friendships are there for us, and we are there for others for reasons we may not even know.
    Thank you for reminding me..

  2. i too have few friends. as long as the friends you have will not forsake you, i don't think it matters how many you have, just that you have some.

    wine and game night sounds great - it's been far too long! so much celeb gossip to catch up on...

  3. Karen F.17:07


    so glad to see you and Matthew and finally meet your beautiful boy, Asher..........what a happy joyful boy!

    Come back anytime!


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