Friday, November 18, 2005

WITFV18: My Friends

I have been blessed with incredible friends throughout my life. Some of them I was born into because our parents were friends. Others I found along the way.

Oftentimes, men find it difficult to have really good friends. We all have "buddies", but sometimes true "friends" are a rarity because male-to-male relationships are so difficult. I don't know what it is about those that make them so difficult, but I have been blessed with great friendships.

When I was 3, we moved from Iowa back to Kansas and we shortly started attending church in Olathe, KS. One of the things that I loved about going to church back in the day was the friends that I had there. When we started attending, I had a bunch of built-in friends, a group of guys who were either my age or within one year of my age and that group was probably about 8 strong at the time. Over time, amazingly NO ONE moved away.

Our friendship grew and we became closer friends. It helped that our friendship was based in a church relationship and all of our parents became friends as well (if they weren't already). Almost none of us went to the same schools. But as we got older, our friendships got closer because we began to play on a club volleyball team together. While our team probably could have been better with other players outside of our group, the way we had it was the way we wanted it and what happened was remarkable. Almost all of us went off to the same college that all of our parents had attended and continued to play volleyball competitively.

After graduation (at different times), things seemed weird. We all still kept in close touch (some more than others), but our lives were changing as we made the adjustment into adulthood. One-by-one, we began getting married (standing in each other's weddings was fun) and settling down, not surprisingly in the same areas where we had all grown up.

As we have all gotten settled, our friendships have changed, but not for the worse, more for the better. All of us have spouses and they have been added to the mix. Our conversation subjects have gotten more grown up (sometimes) and we all seem much more responsible (at least most of the time).

The one thing that hasn't changed over time is that we can count on each other. Our friendship will last even if there are those of us that move away. I'm glad for that. These aren't really my friends, they are my extended family, and I'm thankful for all of them. You know who you are.

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