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Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Anny Cook

"I have no friends!" my granddaughter cried. Her parents are quite strict and she lived in a dangerous neighborhood so she was not allowed outside without supervision. They hope things will be better soon. But in the meantime... So we had a talk. Turns out that she was complaining that she wasn't allowed to run around with her friends unsupervised. I side with her parents on this.

But it started me thinking about friendship and how we define a friend. What changes our definition from "a woman/man I know" to "my friend"? How do we make that shift--and why?

Some would say it's based on commonality of interests. I'm not convinced that's it. I think that two very different people can be friends. Two people of disparate interest, educational backgrounds, even age, can build a close friendship. I suspect that it is a shared spirit. In the worst case, two negative individuals forge a friendship wherein their mutual negativity feeds off each other. It's a destructive relationship from the beginning. In the best case, two individuals build a wonderful relationship which supports and encourages both of them. Most of us end up somewhere in the middle.

Friendship can be short, long or intermittent. I have a friend that I talk to about every two or three years. That's the way our lives have gone. We've been friends since we were eighteen-year-old newlyweds. If I pick up the phone tomorrow, we can take up our conversation where we last left off. I don't have to explain things to her or apologize for my feelings because she understands. We are friends.

I move frequently and that means that I sometimes have to leave friends behind. But for that time period that I lived in that place, those friends and I had shared experiences we can look back on with smiles. We were friends.

When I arrive at a new place, I face the prospect of making new friends. Fortunately in this place I have a wonderful friend and neighbor close by. We've shared some interesting times as I've become a published writer. She's my cheerleader and coach when I'm feeling blue. She's my confidant. She is my friend. Friends are a priceless gift. During this month of February let us be thankful for friends--past, present, and future.


Susilien said...

Love your Blogs. Friends are one of the most important things ever! Thank you for reminding me.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

And sometimes people are friends before you've even met them face-to-face...

N.J.Walters said...

Great blog, as always, Anny. Makes you stop and think. I think a lot of it comes down to trust. Can you trust this person with your secrets, to be there when you need them. A good friend is priceless.

booklover0226 said...

" A good friend is priceless." I agree 100%.

I have a friend and we don't chat or email on a regular basis but I know if I ever need help (and vice-versa), she'll be there!

Tracey D

Dena said...

Great post Anny. I was strict with my daughter when she was young and then let up some when she was a teenager. Looking back I wish that I was strictor then too.
I have a friend that is just like yours where you can talk to her every once in awhile and it's like no time has passed. Our parents lived next to each other when I was born, so we have known each other our whole lives.

Sandra Cox said...

Shared spirit...I like that, Ms. Anny.