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A Celebration of Friendship

A Celebration of Friendship

I have a recollection from when I was about 24 years old … my mother made a comment that she had been friends with her bridesmaid for over 30 years.  At that time I remember thinking “oh my god – imagine that, that’s FOREVER” …

Welly - maccasmusings.comFast forward 20 years and I have recently returned from a weekend away with my best friend of 36 years.  Yes … 36 years of friendship … undoubtedly it is a long time but for some reason it doesn’t seem like “forever” anymore …

There is nothing quite like a ‘girls’ weekend to refresh your mind and soul and the time I have just spent with Annie on our weekend away in Wellington was a great reminder of the importance of spending quality time with someone who holds a special piece of my heart.

Annie and I met when we were 8.  We moved from Christchurch to Rotorua because Dad received a work promotion.  Rotorua was a real eye opener.  The smell of sulphur that permeates the air (particularly when it is raining), the Maori population – I don’t remember my ‘very white’ Christchurch primary school having any Maori students back in the 70’s … Rotorua to me, was a melting pot of all things new and exciting ~ a new culture in every definition of the word.

Annie’s recollection of my first week at school was an 8 year old girl with attitude, hair in pigtails and wearing her old school uniform from Christchurch to my new non-uniformed school.  (REALLY Jill?  You made me wear my old school uniform to my new school?!) … My subconscious has obviously chosen to block that memory out for me …

There is another vivid memory Annie has about a comment I made (in my first day or two at my new school) to an annoying boy in class who promptly told on me – his hand shot up into the air, pumping up and down … and he was all “ooh ooh Mrs Parsons, the new girl said a swear” to which I ever so innocently stood my ground, looked Mrs Parsons in the eye with a horrified look and said “I did NOT”.  Mrs Parsons believed me, the boy was told off for telling tales and Annie thought “she’s alright this girl” … needless to say, our friendship blossomed from that moment.

After 3 years, our family moved once again – to Hamilton.  Annie and I kept in touch by writing letters ~ we would draw sketches of new clothes we’d bought (Annie’s drawings were always way cooler than mine) and write in detail to each other of all the things that were going on in our lives … and we would always end the letter with …

I miss you so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so (you get the idea …) … much.

We would spend time over the school holidays together; life was simple, easy and good.  We cared.  We made the effort to keep in touch by writing letters ~ the old school way!  We were there for each other; distance was never really an issue ~ and still isn’t.  Annie isn’t “just a friend” … she is family to me because family is anyone who loves you unconditionally.

I am very blessed to have an incredible family of friends; in fact I can happily state with nil ego that I have the very best friends ~ for me!  I will never take my friendships for granted because not only would that be disrespectful, it would be hypocritical.  In my mind, friends should be treated with respect, love and kindness.

As a mum to a son and daughter I am fascinated in the different approach each takes to their individual friendships.  They are quite different, and that is not a bad thing … just different.

As long as I bring them up with good friend values.  I aim to ensure my children understand and appreciate the importance of surrounding themselves with good people, good friends who will then automatically become ‘family’ if the fit is right.

I will also ensure my daughter understands “Sisters before Misters” – The unwritten law that dictates the importance and value of your female friends and the relationship you have with them, as being equivalent to that with a new or prospective boyfriend or partner.  As I will for my son – in a “Don’t ditch ya Misters” format.

I have seen too many people lose themselves in relationships to the detriment of their loyal friends and family.  That just isn’t cool in my space.

Standing proudly alongside ‘my girls’, I am so stoked to have some truly incredible male friends (including my brother Rob) who I absolutely adore.  They have included me, embraced and cared for me and in many cases have treated me as ‘one of the boys’ which I love.  Equally, I can bring the feminine view to our friendships and when requested, be the ‘voice of reason’ providing an unbiased women’s view to a scenario.  I am treated with love, trust and respect from these men and am very grateful to have some remarkable male role models in the lives of my children.

We don’t get to choose our family but we do get to choose our friends so make sure you treat them right, nurture the relationships you create and before you know it you will be planning annual weekend getaways in celebration of friendship too.

Welly 2Macca ~ July 15th, 2015 

(Where will the destination be for our 40th year of friendship I wonder Annie … I’m thinking we have to go to Raro!)


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