Regarding Friendship

I've returned from a trip out east which included my 25th college reunion. Because I grew up in Massachusetts, I still feel like I'm "going home" each time I travel there, and we visit quite regularly - we fly into Boston, get to experience the Boston traffic and visit the city if we have time. Even so, we don't typically drive into Cambridge or MIT. The last time I was on the MIT campus was three years ago, and while that visit was nice (read about it here), is wasn't nearly as fun. The difference two weekends ago was the addition of old friends, which made me realize those friends are what made the visit so special.

Friends for So Many Years

I loved seeing my friends Amy and Deb. We were all Chemical Engineering majors (Course 10 for those familiar with MIT speak), which meant we logged hours working problem sets, studying for tests and running lab experiments together. More important than being classmates and lab partners, each woman provided a shoulder to cry upon, a listening ear and a beacon of support. We helped each other maneuver the years of transition into adulthood. We were missing one friend's presence - Robin. Robin, Amy and I traveled to Europe upon graduation and embarked on a month long adventure from the UK to France, Italy, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands. It's a trip I will never forget. Such are lifelong friends - we exchange holiday cards each year, attended or served in each other's weddings and watched our families grow.

Goofing Around

Lab partners of yesteryear
We were Young Once

Close friends are special because it takes time to cultivate those relationships. Opening yourself to a new person leaves you vulnerable and open to rejection - at least it does for me. I estimate it took me at least three years once I moved here to really feel like I had a good group of friends and I am so blessed to have them.

Great Friends - I Could Not Ask for More

The Second Take
Vegas, Baby! November, 2010

Love My #Friends #memorialday #happybirthday

Friends are important for my kids and I love that each has a great group. Having the right friends is crucial in this crazy world they are growing up in.
The Posse

Shopping With the Birthday Girl

This past year has given me more change in the friendship department than I really care for - one good friend moved away, another one is about do the same. I had new friends enter and friends disappear. Regardless, each friend has shaped and influenced my life. You never stop thinking about the close friends, any reconnection feels like they never left - you can pick right back up without missing a beat. Such is the mark of a special friend, with whom you can talk with about anything, who will listen and not judge what you have to say.

Special friends will do lots of crazy things with you!
The Ladies Rock
CrazyK, 2011

Rainy Canoe Trip
Canoeing in the Rain - Turkey Run

Team MAAC
Spelling Bee

Social Media sites (yes, Facebook and the like) make staying in touch with old friends so easy, but there is nothing quite like reconnecting with friends in real life, even if you have to travel across the ocean to do so.
The Travelers
Friends Reunited in Italy, 2010

College Friends, Reunited
College Roommates in the UK, 2013

Old Friends
Friends from Indiana - at the British Museum, 2013

Unfortunately, there are friends I will never see again - Tom and Ed, specifically.
Grabbing Some Air
Tom Murray, Summer 1988
Taken too early, but not forgotten.
Remembering Tom #friends #mit
"No Love, No Friendship can cross the path of our Destiny without leaving some Mark on It Forever" - Francois Mauriac

My friend, Kellie is moving away this weekend and we will miss her so. But we also know our friendship contains a special bond that is not easily severed. We will always be close in spirit. She posted this quote a few days ago.

“Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone." - Vincent van Gogh

Reach out and be a friend, or reconnect with one today. You will be forever changed.

Amy at love made my home  – (June 19, 2014 at 7:29 AM)  

A bit of a mixed time for you then Shirley! How lovely to go to your reunion and see your friends and spend time together, but sad with your other friend moving. True friends will always be friends so you will keep in touch and see each other still I hope. Here's to friendship! xx

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