Friday, January 14, 2011

Friendship Ball

I have this friend, she is like family to all of us.  We met our Freshman year in college and had lived in the same town until 8 years ago.  So you know how you have your friends from "back then" and then you change, grow up, mature, become a spouse, a parent.... did I mention mature?  You acquire new friends, you change and so your friends change, too.  Well she and I have remained friends through it all, so she knew me when, knows me now and has known me in the between.  Your family has to stick it out, they don't have a choice... friends, not so much.  Her huband got a job at (as she and I call it) the WFMC... World Famous Mayo Clinic.  Hard to pass that up, right?  So they moved and she and I started alternating this silver friendship ball at Christmas.  The gift has to fit in the ball and if you have it, you get to hang it on your tree for that Christmas and then send it at your leisure.  It arrived in the mail today :).   My whole family knows about this ball, immediate and extended, it's kind of a big deal.  But then again, so is this friendship.  We talk several times each week, we miss each other something terrible, we try to get together at least a couple times each year.  It is hard, hard, hard to not be there when she is aching, when she is scared, when she is homesick.  It is wonderful to get to be the one to hear the great stories because I wasn't there to see the first horse show, the first Cross Country meet, the dinner party with new friends.  We all need somebody to tell our stories to, someone we can call and brag and know that the other person is just as happy as you are.   So, I'll pack up this friendship ball, keep it safe in our Christmas stuff and next year I'll hang it on our tree and the kids will all say, "Oh - you have the ball this year?"

And one other thing she does... she gives me these Margaret Furlong ornaments each year for my birthday.  They don't make them anymore, so she has to get on eBay each year and find one that I don't have.  Also, she calls me every single year and asks me which ones I have.  Here is the one from this year.

It's a little bit weird when you start having things, collections, that you want to make sure your kids know are important so they won't get rid of them "later".  This ornament collection is one of those things.

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