This sweet little book copyrighted 1965 sits on a shelf in my living room.
When it comes to friends, I’ve been really, really lucky. I don’t connect with everyone–I like my friends to be a little on the crazy side. Oh, nothing that requires medication, necessarily, but just a shade off the norm.
But when I like you? I really, really like you. Yes, just like Sally Fields.
A real friendship is reciprocal.
Oh, I don’t mean that you take me to coffee twice and I take you twice, too. I mean that we like one another.
We have that thing that starts with a spark of recognition which serves as a catalyst for the nonstop chemical reaction called friendship. And it goes round and round in a never-ending loop.
I have had friendships for a season and friendship for a reason, but there’s nothing like a friendship that lasts a lifetime. And maybe we don’t see one another for a long time, but when we do? Bam! That chemical reaction kicks in again. We can’t help but choose the other again and again.
Now THAT’s friendship.
It’s true that I’ve lived in a few different places and had a few different friends. Hardly ever a “group” of friends, because I’m a Chinese restaurant kind of girl: I prefer one from Column A and one from Column B. Homogeneity? B-o-r-i-n-g.
But way back in junior high I had a best friend. We weren’t exactly alike, and yet, BAM! It happened.
And we were friends all through adolescence and college. Oh, the teenage angst!
I was “Sunshine” and she was “Tiger Lily.” It was, after all, the 1960s.
And then I got married, she got married, we lived thousands of miles apart and we lost touch.
But then, last year, we reconnected and, that’s right: BAM!
There it was again.
Looking around her home, I just had to comment on her artwork. She is, after all, an artist.
“I love word art,” I said.
“So do I!” she said. And she’d done some of it.
Her cats lounged around like mine used to.
And she had the only remaining photos of my wedding to M back in 1972. She was a bridesmaid, of course.
This month, on my birthday, a little package from her arrived in the mail.
That’s right. It was this little book. And it had special meaning, because inside, I found this:
That shining sun? Me. “Sunshine”
It was a book I’d given her back in the 1960s. I’d inscribed it, too.
A pretty good gift, wouldn’t you say?
But the best gift of all is her continuing friendship.
Because, Tiger Lily:
xoxox from Sunshine