If you would have asked me year ago where I thought I would be on the 4th of July, tonight’s location would not have been on my radar, nor the people that I spent it with. I didn’t even know them.
I’ve been told there are three categories of friends. We have friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime.
After eating way too much Mexican food, I followed as the kids and a pro bass fisherman headed off to the pond to wet a line and see if they could snag a bass or two. I was kicking myself in the butt because I decided against bringing my rod, fully knowing there was a pond. The kids gave up pretty fast but the pro stuck with it and caught several small bass. He handed me a rod with a bait cast reel and told me where to cast. I loathe bait cast reels. Eventually, I got the feel for it and caught a few. I isolated myself for awhile, fishin’ and thinkin’.
Stuart was working firework detail in Houston, Corey was visiting his grandparents in Pearland and Casey and Blake were hanging out with his family. We had seen them earlier in the day. Here I was with a new group of friends. Friends that I didn’t even know a year ago. I started wondering to myself, are these reason, season or lifetime friends?
Friends for a reason, in my experience, are short term and instrumental in attaining a goal or gleaning information. Placed in your life for a brief moment. These friends are invaluable. I have had many and hope that I have been that friend to many as well.
The seasonal friends are ever changing. When I think of seasons I’ve experience so far, I’m reminded of high school friends and friends that stood by me when my parents divorced. Other seasons include the birth of my children and the different stages of childhood and marital problems early on. As of late, the seasonal friends have been supportive through health issues, job changes, family crisis’ and watching my daughter marry her best friend. I can only hope that I am someone’s seasonal buddy.
I have many lifetime friends. Some I haven’t spoken to in what seems like a lifetime but we pick up right were we left off. These are the friends that you know have your back and are a phone call away day or night and vice versa.
Tonight I was with a soldier, a doctor, a real estate agent, a cheerleader and preachers kid. A new acquaintance and a feisty grandma.
First up, the soldier. My ride for the night. My sidekick here lately. Super intense with a heart of gold. Comic relief and some would be shocked to know, a voice of reason when I need her. She is often misunderstood but I get her and appreciate her friendship. I think she is going to be around for awhile.
Then you have the doctor. The hostess with the mostest for the evening. I was very intimidated when I first met her. Now I realize she is one of the most generous women I have every met. I love her son like he’s mine. I listen when she talks. She is full of wisdom. I value her opinion.
Next up, the real estate agent. This one threw me for a loop from the get go. I wasn’t sure how to take her. She has a strong personality and not afraid to tell you what she thinks. She’s goal oriented and driven. I admire her strength and motivation.
I found out tonight that several of this new crowd were cheerleaders back in the day. However, I consider one of them the cheerleader among this group. She is a dreamer, with romantic ideas and a tender heart. She has encouraged me when I needed it the most and I don’t think she even realizes it.
I knew there would be people tonight that I hadn’t met before and this made me apprehensive. I can talk to kids all day long but get tongue tied around strangers. Thankfully, the new people that I met made me feel at ease.
I met a preachers’ daughter. She was super down to earth. Many PK’s I’ve met in the past appeared holier than thou or the polar opposite of the values that run in their blood. This PK was an exception to the rule, in my opinion. Her upbringing must have had incredible balance.
There was a mother of two teenage daughters. Our only tie being my son in law. I liked her. She seemed to be a strong willed individual. I’m sure we could be good friends.
Lastly, a feisty grandma. I thought to myself, this chic is pretty cool. Not afraid to speak her mind at all. I watched as she interacted with her grandson. A strong bond between these two was evident. I loved watching her talk to her grandkids. I hope my future grandkids look at me the way that hers did tonight.
As we gathered for the fireworks, I was still thinkin’. I seem to do that a lot lately when I get around couples who have younger kids. The fireworks were impressive. The shower of colors in the background, kids twirling sparklers in the foreground. Of course, my mind had to go on a visit, like it does so often these days. I swear I could see Casey’s face on the girl standing there with a towel wrapped around her head grinning ear to ear, as the business end of the sparkler did its’ thing. My heart ached a little.
In every boy present I saw some characteristic of Corey when he was their age. I had to hold it together. Tears at a 4th of July Jubilee with my new friends would have been humiliating to say the least and hard to explain. These lumps in my throat and the holding back of tears seem to be hitting me more and more when I am participating in moments such as these.
I’m home now and I started to wonder about the friends in my life that I didn’t spend the 4th with. Did they think about me this evening as I am thinking about them now? Am I one of their, reason, season or lifetime friends?
I’m also wondering where I stand with the group from tonight.
The crazy thing is, I don’t think we don’t really know how those categories are going to be play-out over our lifetime. Those friends that I thought would be around forever, wreaking havoc with me in the nursing home have long since moved on, just as I.
Then there are your Thelma and Louise’s. The ones that will help you bury the body if need be. The friends that are with you during your best of times and worst of times and still love you.
The friends for a reason served their purpose. God sends them to us at the precise moment in time that we need them.
Today, I am grateful for my new friends. I am not going to try to figure out where they fit in the scheme of thing or me in theirs. I’m just glad they are in my scheme.