The topic of my blog today has been on my mind for a while. I am reminded often of the value of my good friends. I received my class reunion invite and aside from sending me into midlife crazy (which by the way I should have gone into 10 years ago, but didn’t have time)it took me back. My best friend from high school called me and left a message on my phone and I laughed at how she always sounds kind of nuts and then I missed her.

Paula and I have tons of memories. We went through good and bad together and I mean really good and really bad. She was my soul saver and my personal comedian. I still love her. We are very different people now and don’t see each other very much at all but, still if I call her or she calls me..we start right in talking and comparing stories and even sharing secrets. We know each other’s parents and siblings enough to actually love and miss them too. I will die loving her.
 Then I began to think of Connie. She was from a really strict family and I could talk her dad into letting her go late to the movies with us because he was a little mexican guy and I talked so fast that he would just say “Si” and nod at me in bewilderment. She was really smart in school.I joined the Spanish Club because she was president of it. I didn’t take Spanish in high school, but I belonged to the club. I loved her and her family. They had the kindest warmest home. Her parents were so good to me too. My parents loved her too. Good memories.

Then we have the work friends. These are people that you meet through work and your common ground is there. Some of these people have so much more in common with you that they turn into outside friends as well. I have some of these. They have become my best friends in life. I met Diane,Cory,Carma,Foster, Jason and Kathy and Sheila through work and we are still friends today. I used to think that all my work friends would be my friends outside and I have found that really isn’t so. It isn’t because I don’t want to, but the commonality and closeness is tied to the shared environment. I love these people still the same.

 Patrick makes me laugh so freaking much and his thoughts on people in general actually intrigue me to no end. I get ideas on weed whacking and yard issues and pets from him as well.Kathy and I talk about our common interests such as kids, parents, siblings and stuff we like outside of here.Paul and I argue over guns and politics and Ellen has always been very kind and good to me and my family and she has intriguing stories and ideas. She has been gone a long time and I miss her.I enjoy these people a lot and I get a lot from them. They make work worth hanging in for.
Next we have the family friend.It is truly special to be family AND a friend because there is a whole different dynamic to it.
You can be family and be loved very much, but still not be a friend.
I have quite a few family friends,but Todd,Shar and Shane make this cut. My sister Cara does as well.
Why? These people love me and actually know me like a true friend. They hope for me to have good things and they rejoice in them when I do. They make me laugh and feel safe and they don’t run from me if something turns horribly bad,they actually do the opposite and hang in with me.
I will tell Todd the same stories and he listens, he doesn’t laugh at my jokes,but I tell him anyway. We have been through some very hard times and he is still by my side and I can count on him. Shar has ALWAYS been my friend.. I know there is a belief out there that your children are your children and you are not to be their friends. This rule has never applied here. She has since she was born made me want to be a better person. She seems to think I am good and I want to live up to it. She respects me and most of all she is a hideous amount of laughter and fun. I truly Love hanging out with her and hearing her stories..I even enjoy her neurotic tales of life. I know she would defend me anywhere.
Shane is also another story of a friend. He is the type who NEVER unloads a friend and he has not unloaded me. He calls me and tells me of his plans and his days. He is very different from Shar and yet he brings things into my life that I would never had experienced without him. He is the reason I love basketball and that I enjoy football at all. He is absolutely one of the funniest people ever and I truly enjoy him.

Cara has always been good at making me laugh at misery. It is sick and strange, but it really works. She and I have covered for each other for years of life mishaps and problems. She has taken my kids school clothes shopping and hung out with them while I went away on a different family emergency. She shared her family with me and I shared mine with her. Their love is a love that carries my soul. My kids can tell you funny stories for hours about Cara. She and I carried the burden and sadness of aging sick parents together. If I had not had her I would have gone out of my mind at times. This is a true fact.

I like to believe too that Zach and Kylie are my friends. I have such a good time with Zach he makes me laugh and I love how he is so appreciative of things. It enlarges my life to hang out with him. Kylie has a really quiet, kind soul. She was very good to my dad too and that means a lot to me. She is accepting of me which I am sure is not always grand as a daughter in law.


While I have been thinking over my friends. I was also thinking over what makes a real friend in my eyes.
A real friend lifts you where you stand. They do not want to shove you below them they want you to stand beside them.
A true friend does not belittle you to other people even to their spouse. They hold respect for you and don’t wish for anyone else to think poorly of you. After all if you are that bad how dumb are they for hanging in with you?
A true friend knows your weaknesses and flaws, but accepts you as you are.
A true friend does not have to believe the same as you, but they do value your right to your opinion and you can disagree and still be friends. I have a lot of friends that do not agree with me nor I with them. We just argue and then give it up.. It makes your life much more full to hang with people of different views. We learn from them and get ideas and sometimes even a good idea will change your  mind and then you know you have really come along. Open minded people are actually open hearted people. You can not love when you hate someone else for their ideals.
A true friend does not have to be in your life every minute. They know you well enough to know you love them and they care that your life has you going. They miss you and when you do hook up you actually enjoy their company and wish that you did have more time to spend with them.
A true friend will rejoice in your good fortune. They don’t hold contempt and jealousy over what you have or do. They may be envious, but full out distress over something good in your life is not a friend.. Stop hanging with these people they are sad.
I remember when I bought my new car and we were taking it to show people The first person I chose to show it to was Carma. She is one of  these friends. I pulled up in it and she was as happy about it as if it were her own! It was so fun for me to get to tell someone and have them tell me it was great. Not that I didn’t think it was anyway, but when you are really happy you want people to share that. Carma will try to help you get your happiness. She has given me furniture, helped me paint my house, hung wallpaper, told me the funniest jokes and just plain enjoys it if someone is uplifted. If you have to hide your happiness from someone they are NOT your friend.
The same is true with sadness. When sad things come to your life a true friend will be there for you. It is probably not convenient, but they will because they love you. They do not expect you to GET OVER it in their time line.
My friend Cory is one of these people. He is a true friend anyway, but in February I was taking my dad to Salt Lake for some heart surgery things. We were at the hospital at the outside of town. He worked right down town. It is not convenient to come out there. He drove to the hospital with a sandwich and drink for me for lunch. He visited with my dad and hung out with me..During his work day! He has answered church questions,men’s opinion questions,discussed family ideals,made me laugh and been supportive of my kids missions, graduations, weddings and my parents deaths. He has traveled at expense and time crunch to be there for us. He will pray for us. He is like a brother to me.
 Not all of my friendships have been wonderful. I have some really psychotic tales of some thathave gone awry as well. That will be a whole different blog one day.Bottom line is people that make you feel different about being yourself and scare you from saying how you feel are not the kinds of friends that people write mushy poems about. Unload them. Keep the good ones and you need to be a good one as well!

After talking to Paula and thinking about this topic a lot I decided that I am going to try to be a better friend. I need to put more time into these people that I truly love and appreciate. I am going to start a friendship project. Maybe you should too. If you have any friend stories I really would like to hear them and I wouldn’t mind truly making new friends with some of you.

“I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends.”
~ William Shakespeare.