My friend, Rhonda, and I met for breakfast at Old Tymes this morning for our once-a-month get-together which we haven't had in well over three months due to life's circumstances getting in the way. But whenever we do get together, I am always happy to see her and get caught up on our lives which is easy enough to do as Rhonda is a true friend.
I met Rhonda close to twenty years ago at Westminster Congregational Church in Canterbury which she had been attending for years and years and which I had decided to check out because the history of the building intrigued me. How we became close friends is still somewhat of a mystery to me as Rhonda and I are about as opposite as they come - she's a stay-at-home Mom who has never lived anywhere except on the same road in the same town all of her life and I'm a single working mother who has moved more times than I can remember. When I met Rhonda it wasn't that long after I had moved back to Connecticut from California for the third time and was doing the single-mom thing with my son, Michael.
Still - it's true that a lot of times opposites really do attract and, while there are a lot of differences between us, we both have a dry sense of humor, a rather wide sarcastic streak, and a very sardonic wit. I can remember Pastor John telling us we needed to either "sit silently or separately" during his sermons as apparently we were making too many side comments on more than one occasion. We chose to sit separately as silently seemed to be out of the question!
Rhonda is one of the best people I know. She helps out the elderly in her community, runs errands for any number of people, and is a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She has stood by me through moments of stupidity, long distance moves, my decision to divorce my husband despite her own good Christian beliefs, and too many other things to mention. She's not judgmental but is supportive while speaking her mind and I am honored to call her friend; I consider her to be a very important part of my life.
I can probably count on one hand the number of people I consider to be "good friends" and, though that may not seem like very many to some, I know these are friends that I can count on regardless of the situation or the circumstances. In this case I definitely prefer quality to quantity as my life would be so much less without that handful.
Friends may very well be "flowers in the garden of life" with true friends being the perennials - the ones that are there for you every season without interruption. I hope that everyone's garden of life has a few perennials and there is at least one Rhonda amongst them.