“A friend doubles your joys and divides your sorrows.”
Saturday was my 45th birthday. In my opinion, birthdays are the absolute best day to be a Facebooker. By the end of the day, I had a really cool notice on my page: “71 friends posted on Stacy’s timeline for her birthday.” 71 friends — wow! The tentative middle school girl, who still lurks quietly inside me, felt really popular.
The grown-up me was overcome with gratitude, and felt very blessed. At the end of a long and lovely day spent in the company of family and a couple of dear friends, I sat quietly and took time to savor each of those birthday wishes. Here were greetings shared from people spanning every possible era of my life: childhood, high school, college, the working world, early mommyhood, today. Posts from family here in town and across the country, all of whom have seen my life unfold since early on. Posts from family in Italy, whom I only met a few years ago but fell instantly in love with. Posts from friends who don’t speak a word of Italian, but who took the time to figure out how to share their thoughts in the language I love, knowing it would bring me great joy. Every single message so meaningful and touching.
All this friendship, collected neatly into one place, got me thinking about true friends, and why they mean so much to us. And gave me a great excuse to surf the internet, which led me to an article on Global Post titled “The Six Qualities of a Good Friend” (lists appeal to my linear nature).
According to this article, a good friend….
- Loves you unconditionally.
- Believes in you.
- Shares with you a history, interest, and/or values.
- Forgives your mistakes.
- Keeps your confidences.
- Is present in your time of need.
No wonder I feel so overwhelmed by friendship. And grateful to be surrounded, both near and far, by true friends. People who embody every one of those six qualities (and more!), and continue to provide true friendship to my family and I, year in and year out.
So, in this month of Thanksgiving, when we try to be more deliberate with our gratitude, prayers to the people in our lives whom we are fortunate to call our true friends.
Thank you, friends, for loving us unconditionally, even through our flaws. Thank you for forgiving us and believing in us, even if you disagreed with our choices. Thank you for being present in times of need, and rescuing us from sadness or frustration. Thank you for doubling our joys and dividing our sorrows.
But mostly, thank you for celebrating this journey together.