I have many friends … some have been in my life since grade school … some have come into my life in the past year. Some say old friends are the best. I don’t agree. Certainly they are wonderful, but my new friends are just as wonderful. They are all wonderful in their own way.

For instance, I have two friends from back home in Upstate NY (TRUE upstate … near the Canadian border … not Syracuse or Buffalo … they don’t know the meaning of “upstate”! LOL). Deb and Theresa have been through fun times and trying times as we grew up. I’ve blacked out many memories of growing up, but memories of Deb and Theresa laughing and crying and talking about boys and teenage grumblings are some of my fondest! I remember that we could always be there for each other whether it was for a hug or a good laugh. It makes me sad that pictures didn’t seem to be as important back then … I would love to sit and look at those fun times again. But they are there in the back of my memory and they come out for no particular reason other than to enjoy. I can go months or years without seeing either Deb or Theresa and we pick up as if we were just together the day before.

I have friends who haven’t been in my life quite as long, but long enough to know they are treasures. I won’t name names here because I certainly don’t want to offend anyone by not listing them. There are too many, and I love them all for different reasons. I have my work friends who can make me laugh on a day that is particularly stressful. I have my church friends who are there for a hug every Sunday. I have my card friends who love to take my money, but do it with a smile and laugh! I have my IAAP friends who I can turn to when I have a professional question or for no particular reason at all (some of those I’ve known for over 15 years…some I’ve met just in the past year!). I have friends who I used to work with that I’m fortunate enough that treasure my friendship that we stay in touch on a regular basis. I have friends who I stay in touch with only on Facebook or through a Christmas card. I am blessed to have friends who have come into my life, left it for one reason or another, and have come back into it.

So in essence, I have friends of many varieties…none of them truly fit into just one box. I need them all. I treasure them all.

A sign of a true friend who is one who will be there for you, whether it’s to agree with you, disagree with you (yes…sometimes we need that!), understands you, forgives you when you make a mistake, and celebrates with you when something wonderful happens.

My favorite “friend” quote:

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not always follow …
Don’t walk behind me, I may not always lead …
Just walk beside me and by my FRIEND.”