Ordinary Friends? Maybe not.

It’s Saturday 8th March 2014, and that is
 

 International Women’s Day

 

Many special and exceptional women around the globe will be celebrated in many ways on this day, but I’ve narrowed my recognition down to applauding my oldest friendship. It’s quite inspiring to think of two perfectly ordinary kids who had just started school becoming the kind of friends that would still care deeply for each other over six decades later. Now we are both not so ordinary women still sharing an extraordinary relationship… from afar for many years.

Our is the old-fashioned kind where a liking grew to a special kind of loving, over time – aided and abetted by a healthy dose of respect and trust, and the comforting knowledge that someone who really cared would always be there, to support, to care, to hug either physically or in spirit.

parties._0001Our friendship had begun well before this ancient photo.

I’m the one holding the kitten and the little blonde helping me stroke it is the friend I speak of – Judy.

 Sometime ago I wrote an article about friendship for Ezine Articles – and with a few tweaks and edits, I find none of my thoughts or beliefs have changed. When I wrote this I was inspired by the precious relationship Judy and I have shared for so long. I don’t think she knows that. Here is an excerpt from –

To Be or Not to Be… Friends, that is.

by Christine Larsen
 
Recently, on an email service on the internet I was told my best and oldest friend was NOT my friend, and I was asked to invite her to be my friend. This question also comes up constantly when you are social networking on the Internet. Despite the ease of communication reasons given, I believe the intention is to increase user numbers for the individual site – using the guise of ‘friendship‘, and abusing and demeaning the honesty of the word and of the relationship the word epitomises.

A friend (according to online English dictionary definition), is a comrade, a confidant, an ally, a supporter, a person attached by affection or personal regard and respect. A friend in pre-computer times meant all of these things, and even more. And for many of us, this has not changed. Friendship must be earned – not granted by invitation. It is trust, developed gradually, tested time and time again, strengthened by adversity and able to overcome any trials that may try to weaken or sever it…

More? Read the rest at the article source:                  http://EzineArticles.com/5187536

 And so the years rolled on, the school years, the working years and the playing years – oh yes, in our time we were tennis players and squash players… and not too shabby at either.

One memorable night, walking home from our evening Pennant match in our cheeky little white squash dresses, a car-ful of young blades pulled up and wanted to take us for a ride. Undoubtedly in unison, we pushed our pert little noses up in the air and refused to acknowledge them. (Exceptionally brave with a squash racquet in hand and best friend alongside!)  With shouts of ‘Snobs’ and wolf-whistles and jeers, they drove away at great speed. Can you imagine an outcome that innocent today?

Judy and I shared many joys and tears through our teenage years, fell in love a few times, broke our hearts in between, became engaged, then unengaged, and finally, it was marriage. Just look at those two little girls – who’d have thought they’d scrub up so well?

 
C+J outside churchJudy and I outside the Church for my wedding – hers was one week later.
 

And who’d have thought the feelings would still be as special and intense all these years later? Now we are a couple of old girls, still living far apart. We haven’t been able to get together too much in the last decades, but the feeling is as ever, and we still grieve with each other’s disappointments and sorrows, and rejoice in the happiness and achievements.

Our today is more along the national lines, both of us being Aussies… and yet I know we each feel an extra special gratitude for being who we are, where we are. I think we can be pretty proud of ourselves, for just a couple of ordinary suburban Aussie kids, don’t you Judy?

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.  For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.                                    – Khalil Gibran

Here’s to you true friend… thanks for all the memories.