What Makes Us Friends?

birches13Once again, in celebration of the ski rental, there was a gathering of our good friends. The scene outside was one of beauty. The white, papery birch trees standing tall against the small fluffy snowflakes drifting down through the sky. Inside the room was warm and the laughter was raucous. It didn’t take much to get the group started down a path of bad jokes, and unruly behavior leading to snorts of amusement. It has often been said, people tend to get caught up in jobs, commitments, the rush that leaves us exhausted at the end of the day. Our group is no exception to that rule. Thus, it was nice to have this weekend to re-establish our priorities in life. Loyal friends bonded by the commitment we have developed over the years to each other. I know, and I believe my friends all know, that time and distance cannot break the bond that time and the distance we have traveled together has established. Not to take away from our blood families but this is a family too, the one we have chosen. These are the friends, who over the course of many years have established themselves to be there for you no matter the circumstance.
I wonder? Why do some people enter your lives and immediately become a best friend, while others drift in and out? Perhaps it is a common activity. This is certainly true for the core of this group. We met when our children all downhill ski raced together. There were many early mornings struggles of no coffee and sub-zero temperatures. Too often we encountered ice storms and dumps of snow as we crawled our way across the state of New York to get to a race. Weekends consisted of standing at the bottom of a ski trail and looking uphill waiting in anticipation for a lone figure to appear as it flew down a race course. The only thing between the racer, one of our children, and the mountain was a thin layer of spandex and a helmet. We held our breath trying to prevent a fall and exhaled as they came across the finish line. Evenings consisted of ski tuning and team dinners at an accommodating restaurant. Often it was adults at one table, racers at the next. Yes, we certainly bonded over the time we traveled together.
Yet, it has to be something more. Because over the years other racer families have drifted out of our lives while our group still manages to get together. Maybe our bond is because of common goals and beliefs. Politically we are a mismatched group. However, an even stronger shared conviction is our goals for our children. A good education, enough money to continue the lifestyle they enjoyed growing up, loving relationships and health. (We have had some struggles with the health, but that too seems to be making an upward trend.) I’ll admit those are pretty universal goals. Consequently, I think what draws us to each other is how we went about teaching our children to attain these objectives for themselves. Knowing that your child was safe and held to the same responsibilities, even if staying with one of the other families, was a comfort.
But, this past weekend we also included others who were not ski team parents. Still, the same power of friendship clings to all of us. In the end, the common bond must be our personalities; or perhaps, our mutual understanding of what being a true friend means. That definition being:
I want to share the joys of life with you. But, more importantly, I will stand by you when you are struggling, no matter if it is a struggle with children, health, death of a loved one or sickness. I will be the one to hold your hand, to lend a shoulder to cry on. I promise to cry with you when the pain is too much and make you laugh when your tears are finished. As your friend I will hold your confidences but shout out your accomplishments. At the end of the day, I only want to hear your laughter and see your smile and hope for many more years of friendship to come.
This, I think, is what draws our group and our fellow friends, who did not make the weekend, together and keeps us traveling down the road as companions.photo (12)


4 thoughts on “What Makes Us Friends?

  1. You and Kevin say it all in this picture! We are thrilled to have been a part of the ski parent weekend and hope we can partake again! You guys are great hosts, friends and part of our extended family as well! ❤

  2. Another great post Rosemary! Even though I haven’t known some of these people as long as you have, I certainly feel a part of the group and feel the love from all of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s