Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Guest Blogger Alison Valdez: From Girls to Grandma's: Friends Who've Stood the Test of Time

My Aunt Alison has one of the most amazing groups of friends. Their story is one that spans decades,and generations. Since I am one who has more one on one friendships, never part of the group really. I have amazing friends, I really have learned a lot from watching this group.  I admire this group of friends and their dedication to each other.They have been friends since youth, their kids are friends, their grandkids are friends and their husbands are friends. I asked my Aunt Al to share their story with others on Just Jules:

When Julie asked me to write a little something for her blog, I agreed readily. She mentioned that she thought we were inspiring.  I am not sure about that, but loyal for sure.  I think there is an adage that goes something like," there are no friends like old friends,'' and I believe this to be true.  (But as you meet people throughout your life, and you remain friends for many years, then they become old friends).  I think friends are family that share no DNA, and I love them as if they did.

      There is not a day in my life that I don't remember my friend Lisa. We grew up together and were best of friends from the time we were toddlers and our parents lived next door to each other until my parents died and their house was sold. Our moms were great friends and died less than two months apart. Lisa is the person with whom I learned a lot of life's lessons. Fighting, Jealousy, boys......!   

  After we grew older, we were each others maid-of-honors.  Lisa has moved all over the United States, and we have remained friends all of these years. Karen and Jeananne and I did not become friends until we met in high school.  The dynamics of our high school group was really funny. A group of pairs (Lisa & me, Karen & Nancy, Jeananne & Jill, Lauren & Anne etc...), blended into a larger group.  The group would splinter into different pairs and trios and expand over the years.

    Karen and I became closer after we were married, and lived reasonably close throughout the years.  We are Godparents to each others oldest daughters, and our children have been friends for life, and now our grandchildren are going to do the same.  We still see each other almost every free weekend, just to laugh and talk.  Jeananne was closer to Karen and Nancy, and I guess that I wormed my way into that friendship as we got older. 

 We still meet at El Cholo and have margaritas and dinner and laugh and tease each other like we are still 16. We don't get to see each other enough, but have fun when we do. My friend Jeannie, is the latest model.  We met when our children were in grade school. We volunteered for the same things, and became friends because of our kids at a common time in our life.  We have only known each other as adults and have merged our friends and families.  It is as if I have known her my whole life.

 None of us is married to a man that knew each other before they were introduced by us.  Yet they have become friends, and enjoy each other as much as we do.  We go on vacations together.  Sometimes mother/daughter trips, and we have been known to houseboat together as families etc... Best of all we have traveled as couples to some fabulous world destinations TOGETHER.

      So now is my turn to wax poetic!  The very best thing about friends is they know you and lots of your secrets and still remain a true friend.  Not to be cliche, but they have your back.  There are lessons that I have learned from my friends that you don't learn from your family.   Your friends are there because they want to, not because they have to.  You don't have to agree on religion or politics or how to raise your children.  Accept and respect the other persons views and rights.  I have not always been the perfect friend, and am glad that my friends have looked past my wrongs.  I have not always understood how or why they do what they do?   What I do know is that we all come from different places and pasts that have formed the people that we are today.  I like my friends as well as love them and consider myself blessed.

     As I reread this I realize that this does come from my past and my family, whom I am extremely glad I have!