The Grace in Girlfriendship


N_StefanieLast night I had dinner with a dear friend. We’d gone to high school together but hadn’t really connected until we found ourselves in the same evening class at college and decided to carpool. For a year or two we were chums, and then we lost touch. We reconnected 15 years later, thanks to Facebook.

We returned to a beachside Italian joint, the scene of our last golden visit, and dug in for some tasty grub and even tastier conversation. We seemed to forgo the typical “So how are you? What’s new?” intro. This time, two sweetheart frogs (Henry and Lucy, who for the past three years have taken afternoon naps in a dish in a drawer on her Mum’s patio) were our launching pad. Because how could they not be?

Our time together always feels charmed, as we touch on any topic under the sun. Food, projects, relationships, oh and did I mention food?

We’ve discovered that since our college days, we both experienced the shake-up and break-up of our parents’ marriages–the timing and circumstances eerily similar and equally unexpected. Our understanding and connection has grown stronger as we’ve shared how this heartache has been mined for richness, and how we’ve come out the other side with an appreciation for our new expanded families.

We’ve learned that we both tend to consider visits from cute birdies on the sill to be visits from our dearly missed grandparents. Since we reconnected, I’ve lost my sweet Grandpa and my beloved Grandma, and she has said goodbye to her dear Grandma and her beautiful Nin. Even when our grandparents don’t come up in conversation, I know that our shared reverence for them is there, hovering in our hearts and not too far from mind.

During our visits we gab a mile a minute as our visions and dreams are scribbled in notebooks or on napkins (the back of a receipt will do, in a pinch). We lay them on the table between us–“I want to write this” or “I want to make that”–and our conversation elevates as we sink into a sacred space of recognition and encouragement: I get it. I see you.

And suddenly, four or five (or sometimes six) hours have passed. We gather our visions and tuck them safely back into our purses and hearts. This might be where they stay, unrealized, until our next visit. And here’s the really beautiful part: that’s okay.

Yes, I’m grateful for the laying out of our dreams. But perhaps my gratitude is strongest for the grace that underscores our sharing. There’s no push for the other to “make it happen.” There’s no impatience or judgement, just excitement and unconditional support.

One of the definitions of devotion–our SheLoves theme this month–is: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.

What a blessing it is to bask in the love, loyalty and enthusiasm of a devoted friend.


Image credit: Mathias Klang