Last night we went to the birthday party of a good friend. This was a person that we met when we first moved to Central Texas in 1997. Back then, they had just moved here too, and along with my husband's brother and wife, our lives were one big adventure!
Back then, we were both living in apartments and didn't have homes to keep up, our children were pretty much grown and gone, and we didn't have a lot to do with our time but explore. We went to all the festivals, we went to plays and tons of new restaurants, and we explored all the little towns in the hill country.
But, eventually, Central Texas became home. We all bought or built houses, and life settled in. Of course, some of that is natural, but we were guilty of letting life in general, jobs and homes get in the way of friends, fun and laughter. We also let it get in the way of taking care of friends...being there to talk to when there was a problem or rejoicing over the good things.
The birthday party was a great party, small and intimate. It was outside on a beautiful deck, and there was live music. But most importantly, the party revived that connection that we once had with one another. We had a wonderful time and we have made a commitment to these friends to get together at least three times in the next year.
Earlier this spring we connected with another two couples that we've pretty much lost touch with over the years. We had such a good time with them, that we've already set a date for our next year's visit.
It's painful to share this, but during this party my son called me to tell me that his 35-year-old friend had died from a heart attack. My son was clearly hurting....his friend wasn't here anymore, and he wouldn't be able to spend any more time with him.
Friends are so important and I hope that I can remember not to take that for granted from now on. To develop any kind of relationship takes time and I don't think I've spent that part of my time very wisely. My daughter and husband are really good at working on friendships. I pray that I will become more like them.