Not too long ago my husband and I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with our oldest and dearest friends, Nancy and Jeff. Oldest because we have known them for over 25 years (I have actually known Jeff for nearly 35 years, but that is another story altogether), and dearest because no matter what the situation or circumstance,we are always there for each other. Over the years we have attended each others’ weddings, cared for each other during sickness and surgeries, offered support and encouragement through illness and loss of loved ones, celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, and new homes, and spent many, many glorious hours on weekend trips and adventures. There have been times of laughter and tears, times of fear, anguish and uncertainty, and the occasional brief moment of hurt feelings, but mostly,more than any other feelings or emotions, there have been years of joy and respect and an immeasurable amount of love.
We have shared many off-road adventures, bouncing and sliding along a steep, rocky, nearly impassable trail with no choice but to either go over the sheer side or to continue up the trail to the summit and on to easier paths. Nancy and I have gotten out and walked on more than one occasion, but our boys always get us home safely. On one trip several years ago,we were stopped at some crucial point in the trail (this seems to occur frequently on our adventures) and Scott and Jeff had to get out and examine the rocks to find the perfect line through, the one that would cause the least amount of damage yet still provide a white-knuckle experience, when I was struck by the fact that these two boys that I had known for so long and knew so well were no longer boys but had turned into grown men. When did that happen, and where was I when it had?
The answer finally came to me years later as the four of us were relaxing under the magnificent nighttime desert sky. It just happened. Gradually without any of us realizing it, we grew up.We’re adults. We actually have been for quite a few years now, with all the responsibilities and worry that can go along with the title. But in addition to those things, we also have the wisdom and experience to know that tough times don’t last,we are as strong as we need to be to get through any difficulty that comes our way, and if we falter,we will always, always have our friends to help us through the rocky parts. Thank heavens for enriching and nurturing friendships like these. They make such a difference in the way we handle life.