Friendship is an interesting relationship. My husband, my daughter, my mom, my cousin, have all had the title of best friend in my life pretty consistently. But family, ahhh family, they are the people we don’t choose. Friendship in family is just the cherry on top if it happens that way.

Friends are the people we don’t have to have in our lives that we choose to keep.  We have friends from our childhood, friends from our youth, friends who we have lots of things in common with and other times not too much. I have friends my mom’s age and friends my kid’s age. Friends of different gender, I have gay friends and straight friends, and friends of different races and with different political views. Some who I have known for a life time… and some I am just getting to know… Some who I have never even met but somehow, cyberly we have connected and they are all special in their own way.  I have co-workers who have slipped into the friendship status as well as acquaintances who slowly have found their place in my heart. And I have friends who have quietly slipped from that place and other who have fallen out with a bang for various reasons.

Yes, friendship is many things. It is that comfortable place where you can fall and say anything you want to. Or can you? I think over the years, I have taken a lot for granted. Everyone has their boundaries, even family. I mean we just need to censor some things. I look at my handful of friendships that I would fight for and  I am fascinated at the different layers, the history, the love that has brought us to where we are today in each other’s lives.

I realize that if I could have the kind of relationship with everyone else that my daughter and I have, my world would be a better place. The mutual love, respect and admiration we have for one another seems so natural and yet, is it? I just take our love for granted but it is as tough as nails and yet as fragile as a butterfly. I know my boundaries, I have learned to not ask so many questions, to not offer so much advice, to be patient and proud and unselfish and it is so easy in the name of love.

Unfortunately, I know that I’m not so forthcoming in any of my other friendships the way I am with ours. They all have their own level of love in my heart but if only I could bottle the formula my daughter and I have cultivated I think that I would be a lot happier. I have begun to realize that it really is what you contribute to anything that makes it worthwhile.

Any relationship is great in the beginning, especially friendships. A new friendship is a bit like courting… That feeling of excitement that comes with finding someone who you connect with is powerful. I remember falling in love. If we could all inject those first few months of getting to know each other into our stale marriages, we would never need marriage counseling. But too often the “water under the bridge” feeling of life happening contaminates our thought process and we want to feel the charge that new beginnings bring.

Bottom line is, friendships worth working on are more valuable than anything money can buy, they are the ones who know everything about you and decide to hang around anyway, they are the ones who look past your broken down gate and the overgrown wild flowers and can see that beautiful garden just beyond the weeds.

And then there is the ONE on the other side of the gate, always there. My very best Friend. Who never notices the weeds or mistakes in my life and loves me anyway.

11 thoughts on “A Friend Is Someone Who Looks Past Your Broken Down Gate and Admires Your Beautiful Garden

  1. There’s a typo in the title.

    A very nice piece about friendship and choosing your friends, unlike family, and about some friendships being worth fighting for. Your friendship with your daughter being foremost which is a truly wonderful thing.

    I don’t think the piece really follows the theme of the title although you certainly end with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very nice read. It just largely was not about looking past a certain obvious flaw to see the substance behind it which is the person.

    The title did make me think of Thailand. I remember a person asking me if Thailand was as beautiful as he had heard. I told him that depends. It depends if you see beautifully or not. He did not understand. I told him that I know people who think Thailand is the most beautiful place on Earth and I know people who think it is a truly ugly place. And all these people have looked at the same things. Still this person did not understand so I provided a concrete example. There was a beautiful wat (buddhist temple) brand new and freshly painted in red and yellow on the outside with wonderful dragon carvings and asian stylings and a giant gold-leaf covered buddha inside at the center. 20 yards from that temple is an old broken down shack with the tin roof half caved in. One person walks by and sees the most beautiful wat he has ever seen. Another person walks by and sees the eyesore that is the broken shack. So yes, Thailand is as beautiful to those who see beauty and it is ugly to those who see ugliness. I’m not sure he understood.

    1. Maybe I should have titled it Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Like you mentioned we all see things differently. I actually wrote this after a visit with my friend. I was angry with her over something. We have never had really intense words for all of our adult life. But somethings changed in my life and hers and she has always been the Alpha dog in our friendship. I was tired of it and finally spoke up when she basically said something, pointing out a flaw about the way I have chosen men in my life. She is certainly entitled to her opinion and we have moved past it gracefully enough but the gate thing just kind of resonated with me. I have always loved that saying and started out attempting to say something in a round about way that never really worked here as you pointed out. I agree from the reader’s perspective… though I still remember where I was trying to go. I think I pretty much chickened out and changed the title and found the picture at the last minute, so you are getting to know me better and call me out on it!
      I appreciate that, as long as you pick and choose where you do it. 😉

  2. How wonderful to have a friendship with a daughter.
    Mine helped me dress for a job interview today. She even fixed my hair.

    1. Teresa, That is wonderful. Hope you got the job! I am cleaning out files and must have missed these responses here!
      Happy new Year!
      Thanks for stopping by when you did! Hope you come back again!

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