Friends

Stephanie,  Camille me and Angie in Hawaii. Dear friends

Anyone who knows me knows that friendship is everything. As someone who has never really been in love aside from family, my friends have been my main source of support in life.  It is hard to think of a great moment in my life that wasn’t accompanied by or inspired by my friends.

I’ve had lots of different types of friends over the years and some of them have fallen out of touch but many have been by my side through the years.  I have my flaws but I think one of my strengths is being a good friend.   My friends know me and if they want it, I know them.

This week a long time friend of mine came and visited.  Over the years we have shared many highs and lows, tears and fears and a fair share of anxiety and laughs.  Now she is dating a nice man and things are looking great.  I was so happy I wanted to jump up and down. It was a great moment brought about by the years of deep and abiding friendship. I will treasure that moment.

I love this quote by Marlin K.  Jensen (the whole talk is fabulous)

“Joseph Smith taught that “friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism.’” That thought ought to inspire and motivate all of us because I feel that friendship is a fundamental need of our world. I think in all of us there is a profound longing for friendship, a deep yearning for the satisfaction and security that close and lasting relationships can give… if the consummate Christian attribute of charity has a first cousin, it is friendship. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul slightly, friendship “suffereth long, and is kind; [friendship] envieth not; … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; … [friendship] never faileth.”

I love the idea that friendship is the grand fundamental principle of my faith, and I would say all faiths. To be a loyal, kind, true friend is the greatest gift we can give anyone.  I am lucky to have had many such friends in my life.

The other day I was feeling a little blue and my friends Jill and Melissa sent me flowers with the sweetest note of encouragement.

One time when I was in college after my grandfather and cousin had passed away my friend Casi insisted I go to dinner with her and get out of my apartment.  She wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I’m proud to say we are still friends to this day (thanks to facebook 🙂 ).

Last year I visited Maryland for the first time in 10 years and it was so great to see that all the girls I visited that once were my friends still have that special bond.

I’ve mentioned on this blog my special friendship with my friend Emily and how I feel God directed us to each other.  I could the say the same for my dear friends Camille or Julia who I don’t get to see near as much as I would like (in my dream world I’d see all my friends everyday!).  The great thing is when I do see them the connection is still there, the bond still solid.

Sometimes the friendship is immediate like with my friend Adrienne where I met her and almost instantly knew we needed to be friends. Sometimes it builds gradually like with my friend Jill until it is deeply important to me.

I think of my friend Miriam or Suzanna who have maintained a presence in my life all these years and are somehow always there for me when I need them and hopefully vice versa.

There are new friends like Etsuko who I’ve only known for 2 months but I feel like we have been friends for years. Or there is my friend Kate who I felt a bond with almost immediately when we met last year at the clinic. Life is about that bond for me.

I think of my friend Stephanie who has never failed to inspire me no matter her size. I will always treasure the first time we really became friends at a Michael Buble concert no less 🙂

I think of all the great traveling I’ve done with dear friends such as Rachel, Sarah, Emilee and Megan. Those memories are some of the best of my life.

There is my friends Polly and Tennile who proved that visiting teaching really can create lasting friendships.

My friend Aimee who was cool enough to accept a girl who came up to her and said ‘My name is Rachel.  I need a friend.  Let’s get together’. (For real).  She is the bravest person I know.

Special shout out to all of my swim friends and trainers who have become so dear to me.  I would not be the tremendous athlete 😉 I am today without all of your love and support.

I think of book club and the great discussions we’ve had over the years.  Images come through my mind full of smiles, heart to hearts, and laughs with dear friends.

For every single person who has been there for me on facebook and twitter.  I live alone but I rarely feel lonely because of you.

The list could go on and on and there are so many I didn’t name. I love you all! (haven’t had many friends who are guys.  Not sure why. Ready to make some 🙂 )

When I think back on my life many of the happiest times are laughing with my friends; and I can reminisce fondly over hours of conversation pondering philosophy, religion, life, boys, crushes, politics, books, and whatever else is going on. Whenever I drive by my old house in American Fork I wax nostalgic of all of the great friendships I had there during one of the roughest personal periods of my life.  They saw me through it and I came out alive 🙂 . It’s no accident that at the end of that tough period of my life where did I go, on a hotel holiday mini-vacation with my friends.  It was a victory for all of us.

I honestly think of my Grandma as one of my best friends, and I love nothing more than chatting with her about my life and learning about her life.

Perhaps I have an unrealistic or overly-nostalgic view of friendship, and yet the vision has been met time and time again and for that I’m very grateful. I’ve learned a lot from all of my friends, a lot about kindness, courage, compassion, charity, strength, nurturing and even how to be a better friend.

I recognize that people have different ways of expressing love and friendship, and I am trying to be more open to those expressions. I certainly can use all of the love I can get however its expressed.  I’m grateful to anyone who touches my life for good and after watching the horror of yesterday’s shooting am grateful for what I do have in my life.

Thank you to all of my friends. I hope I have been half the friend to you as you’ve all been to me. God bless you!

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.
What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.
When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee

Not to be morbid but if I died tomorrow I would want this blog page printed out and given to people.  It is the story of my life.

My friend Jill and I at a concert
My friend Tennile and Jenny at a book signing
My friend Miriam and I. We’ve been friends for over 10 years.

.

The whole swim gang at swimfest!
My friend Emily and I at a book signing
Not a great picture but the only one I could find of my friend Aimee and I
My friend Sarah and I at a concert
Rachel, Emilee at the PCC. What happy memories.

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