A Friend

© Gillian Jones

A person who will listen and not condemn
Someone on whom you can depend
They will not flee when bad times are here
Instead they will be there to lend an ear
They will think of ways to make you smile
So you can be happy for a while
When times are good and happy there after
They will be there to share the laughter
Do not forget your friends at all
For they pick you up when you fall
Do not expect to just take and hold
Give friendship back, it is pure gold.
I’m sure those who have one, can relate to this article. Best friend is a title held for the few and privileged.

 “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never ever the same” (Unknown).

My mother always told me, if I could count my friends on one hand I was lucky. I count myself as one of the lucky ones. My closest friends are just a handful and I love them dearly, each for their own qualities.

Today’s post, seen as it is ‘International Women’s Day’ tomorrow is dedicated to Katerina whom I share that ‘one-of-a-kind’ friendship, a rarity, the real, rock solid one, the soul mate I- can- feel- what- you’re- feeling one, the I- don’t know- what- I- would- do- without- you one. I have had two in my life, one at primary school in London, which I will always hold dear to my heart, even though I didn’t get to live it enough and Katerina, my Kat, whom I consider my emergency number, my number 2 on speed dial, my voice of reason, my go to person.

This friendship is 20 something years old. High school brought me and Katerina together and it was not a friendship that developed overnight, like good wine it gradually grew and matured with age and it has become what it is today. Certainly there were hiccups, there were quarrels there were divides but it all came together, forming, with it, the most solid of roots. Our friendship brought our mothers together, who are also best friends, as they too, share a 20 something year friendship. This led to our fathers also forming a friendship. So now we have become an extended family.

I also believe in fate. Katerina and I were neighbours as youngsters and we are neighbours today. What are the chances of that? Surreal! Spending your teenage years in the same neighbourhood is awesome, we got ourselves into all kinds of mischief, but having your best friend as a neighbour in adulthood is a bonus, a blessing and a dream come true. We are always there for each other no matter what. I definitely make use of the neighbour privilege and the adage ‘Love thy neighbour’ is so apt!

A best friend has to first meet certain standards and have many outstanding characteristics to have the honour of holding such a prestigious title. Through thick and thin, a best friend supports you and helps you through tough times. A best friend does not retreat when you are on the brink of losing it. Those are the times that a best friend is always there for you. The well- known saying ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ is utterly true. Able to share your most intimate secrets, sharing the laughter the tears the joys, knowing you better than you know yourself, seeing you at your worst, helping you be your best.  Councillor, therapist, supporter and above all supportive THAT is what a best friend is, and my best friend is all of these things and more.

High school, university, working women, weddings, births, baptisms, funerals, holidays, parties, weekend boredom, we’ve lived through it all. We are not blood related, we are more than that. Being maids of honour to each other and each christening the other’s children to make our closeness more official has by default made our husbands form their own special relationship too and theirs is a true Liverpudlian bond for that matter!

My best friend is the back bone to nearly all my decision making. We are not alike but we share the same principles and outlook on life. Ok, I don’t plaster it all over my body like she does! She’s a tattooholic!!! We know when we are upset with each other and we know better than to let it fester, I look up to her and value her opinion in almost everything, though her road rage is something I will never understand. I still have her as my designated driver so maybe I should zip it!

We have our own song, film, funny saying, code, look, an everything. Our friendship is like a diamond-  a beautiful transparent rock, and, to me, absolutely flawless.

Our bench mark for taking the downhill slope was at 35, I’m taking it to 55 because 45 is just around the corner! I love you!

If you feel anything like I do, tag your best friends and dedicate this year’s women’s day to them by sending this poem.

Our pictures are numerous, but here’s a peek, check us out as – children, teenagers, students, working girls, brides, mothers and who we are today.