Donna Smaldone
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Monday / June 13 / 2011

Why I’d argue the best of friends aren’t only found in your college years

I had the unique opportunity to engage with three of my dearest childhood friends this weekend. We’ve known each other since we were “knee high to a grasshopper” (as Angel McAllister would say). How is it that you can be friends with individuals who are so vastly different than you, but with whom you share a bond that cannot be explained or undone? Is that unconditional love?

The weekend was filled with uncontainable laughter (my ab workout for the weekend – seriously) as well as passionate, full-body tears – the kind you share only when you feel safe and accepted.

Saturday afternoon was our “deep-n-poignant” time together as we shared things we’d never share with anyone else, aside from our spouses. We shared openly and honestly, letting guards down, putting emotions and vulnerability out for inspection. No judgement. No condemnation. Just faces full of compassion and empathy for each other’s pain and hurts, some so deep it’s a wonder they can be expressed in the spoken word. Complete acceptance, love, guidance and impassioned desire for the successful, happy futures of one another. This is the stuff you can’ t find in a store, no matter how wealthy you are.

My Cherished Aim & Me

Amy, thank you for being a soul to whom so many are attracted (me included). You epitomize unconditional love and I feel so special because you know me by name (and them some!) As strong a woman as you are, you are one with whom I, and so many, want to share our deepest, innermost thoughts and dreams simply because you smile and open your heart — and mean it. That is why you are a such an extraordinary nurse and Mommy. You amaze me every time we encounter one another.

Beautiful, Poised Neeser

Denise, thank you for being the quintessential tried-n-true friend. We’ve been through so much together, we should write a memoir. The memories we have (and can remember) will always be held in the warmest place of my heart. When I hugged you this weekend and said, “thank you”, the words themselves seemed so inadequate, yet the bond was one for which I have no words. You have a place in my heart that could never be replaced.

Beloved Dawnie

Dawn, thank you for living your life unabashedly,being willing to let others in and explore the questions of life, and death. You are strong, yet tender. You are impassioned and set the example of not giving up on what is precious in this world. Your faith is inspirational and your heart is bigger than most. Thank you for your willingness and desire to share life with me.

Friends, thank you for loving me even though you know me. Thank you for gifting me with your friendship and entrusting me with your hearts and dreams and allowing me to entrust you with mine. I treasure you. I love you. I cherish you. And I look forward to writing pages-n-pages of love notes to each other in our Notebooks of Life forever. Take a peek… xo

9 responses to “Why I’d argue the best of friends aren’t only found in your college years”

  1. Debbie says:

    Absolutely beautiful!! Such treasured friendships. So glad you could all get together!!

  2. Dawn says:

    Thank you for being my friend, more than words can say. You are an amazing woman and I feel blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for sharing with me, for helping me enjoy the good things in life and easing the difficult, for being there through all kinds of tears (happy & sad), and for being the YOU that you are. I love you!!!

  3. Donna Smaldone says:

    “Treasured” is such a great descriptor here. Thanks, Debbie. YOU are treasured as well. xo

  4. Denise Foster says:

    Back at ‘ya Donna! Your beautiful writing has captured the essence of our amazing weekend. I look forward to many, many more fabulous memories ahead. XO

  5. Donna Smaldone says:

    Thank you, Denise, my cherished friend. I, too look forward to many more memories ahead — and, reminiscing about them as we all rock together around 95 years of age (not in chairs, mind you, but at a jazz club!) xo

  6. Rachael Shorr says:

    I completely agree with you. I have found some of the best of friends during my college years (and I continue to do so), and I plan to best friends with them for a long time to come!!! My friends from my childhood that I have known since elementary school are still some of my best friends. Good friends stick with you even when time and distance get in the way. It is wonderful how quickly you can pick up where you left off when you are unable to talk for a few weeks or even a few months. I am so grateful for the friends I have and am blessed that you have forever friends!!!! Love you and this was one of my favorites!

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Nice to hear from someone who is currently in college, Rach. I think you can have true “good” friends with whom you grow distant because of time, distance, and life circumstances. But “good” nonetheless. And “true” when you bump into each other 20 years later and your first instinct is to catch up on hugs!

  7. Joan Parker says:

    Hi Donna,
    A mutual friend who went to school with you suggested your site to me figuring – correctly- I would enjoy your blogs. I recently lost the “friendship” of someone who was a friend for over 40yrs. You know the “thank God we have eachother for family” type. Well, although that came out of the blue and ripped another piece of my heart out, I am so glad to hear that you & your friends share what I consider the true qualities of friends -unconditional love, loyalty, a safe haven etc. Bless you & your friends & cherish them always. Joan

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Thanks so much for stopping, Joan (and please thank our mutual friend – how sweet!) I hope you’ll continue to read and continue to comment.

      I am saddened to hear the ‘loss’ of your friendship. I know what it’s like to have your heart ripped out.

      You know… when those around you don’t encourage you to embrace your journey of self-discovery, it’s best to go your separate ways. That doesn’t necessarily make it easy or painless, but in the long run, you’re SO much better when surrounded by the love of those who love you for YOU, than trying to keep up with a relationship simply because “you always have”.

      Welcome to The You Evolution™, Joan. I’m delighted you’re here.

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