Kathryn JZ writes:
I spent the better part of last week on a continuing education cruise with a group of revgals. Both the class on hospitality and the connections made with friends (old and new) were phenomenal. I always have a difficult time with re-entry into reality from times away but this, aided by getting nailed with strep throat, has been more difficult than usual. Not only does it a take a few days (weeks? months?) for it to stop feeling like I am on a boat, but my heart misses my friends.
In parish life the boundaries are clear and they are there for a reason, but it can make the life of a minister a lonely one. It is such a tremendous gift to spend a few days with women who not only are wonderful and gifted, but who also get exactly what you do and why you do it. The hugs are genuine and free and the laughter is awesome.
Many of us have friendships – past and present – with these same qualities. And so today we will celebrate Friday with friendship:
1) Do you remember your first best friend? What did you do together? Are they still in your life?
My first best friend was Dawn Madison. We met in early grade school I believe. We loved to watch movies and roller skate. As we got into later grade school we used to sneak watching soap operas – we were into Loving & Another World. She moved in around the corner from me when we were younger and then were ripped apart when my parents put me in a new school mid-sixth grade. We stayed friends but drifted apart after that. There were a few random catch-ups in high school but after that lost track.
2) Did you ever have to move away or have your best friend move away from you?
See above. Yes. There was also the best friend transition from high school to college, when we all left. The magic of facebook has reconnected some of us, though, which is fun.
3) Are there people in your life now that you can call ‘friend’?
I have one constant friend from sixth grade and that is Ms. Lilyan. We have gone through high school, college and so far all of our adulthood together. Couldn’t have made it without her on any front. I also have a great core of folks that I call friend and are with me whenever. We have each others’ backs and it’s so comforting to know that that’s available.
4) What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends?
These days, we do a lot of dinners, movies, shows, museums and walks in the park. Sometimes we just hang out and talk forever. There’s a lot going on in the world and one by one we solve all the problems. If only people would listen to us.
5) What is a gift friendship has given you?
Friendship has given me a family away from my biological family, stability, support, encouragement and a safe “lab” through which I can work out becoming myself – overall, Grace.