On Friday, my sister and I spent an entire day together sans cares and responsibilities. Whenever I’m with her, we talk about so many topics that it’s just about dizzying. From husbands and children to money and God and wrinkles, we covered a lot of ground on Friday. She’s a great sister AND a great friend, and I mention that because she wasn’t included in the my recent blog about friends. Neither were a few other people, not because they aren’t important but because, well, read on.

Ann belongs to a separate and unique category; one entitled “Family Friends.” Sometimes family folks who are not  friends, but in my case, I’m fortunate to have several family members who are, and Ann heads the list. My five sisters-in-law are on that list too. And although I don’t really want to include men in my friend countdown, I’m make an exception. My husband is truly a grand friend.

He’s supportive, nonjudgmental, encouraging, and patient. Patient to a point, that is. Last week as he halfway listened (kept reading his Kindle) to me prattle on and on and on about a situation that’s been breaking my heart, he put the Kindle aside for a moment and asked, “Don’t you think it’s about time for you to leave that horse alone?”

“What? Huh? What are you talking about?” I asked.

“That dead horse,” he said. “Why do you keep on beating it?”

And he was right, of course. It’s time for me to move beyond this particular heartache/issue, and he’s the only with the guts to tell me that.

Another group of old friends who continue to impact my life today are some church friends from Myrtle Beach. As soon as I got on facebook after posting Thursday’s “piece,” I saw posts from a few of them. Rather than chance leaving anyone from that era of my life out, I’ll just mention the ones I saw the other evening: Dorothea, Beth, Gail, and Mary. There are at least a dozen more, and all aided in my personal and spiritual development. In fact, it’s scary to imagine my life at the coast without them.

Are you wondering about the photo accompanying this blog? It’s one of some of my friends and me in the bell tower of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington this past January. Four of us made the road trip to and from South Carolina. The fifth person in the photograph, the young pretty one, is someone we met earlier that day. As we stood poring over our maps and city guides, Alyssa turned to us with a beautiful smile and asked if we needed some help.  We adopted her as daughter, guide, and friend, and all it took was her charm and a simple question.

I don’t want any readers out there to think this is all about me or that I’m boasting about my friends. Here’s what I’m saying:  We all need friends, every single one of us. Somewhere, possibly right next door or in that book club you’re thinking of joining, there’s a new friend waiting for someone like you. What are you waiting for?

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