Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Importance of Friends

By Nichole Giles

For the past nine years, my girlfriends and I have been meeting once a month for a girls’ night out. We leave our children and husbands’ home, and meet—at various locations—to share gossip, laughter, and other chit-chatty things women talk about when they are alone together. During these years, we have come to be more like sisters than friends. We are a solid six.

We have supported each other through many of life’s hardships, including death, divorce, and deployment. We know the names and interests of each other’s children, and other silly things like what we will order to drink in a restaurant, and who eats spicy foods. These are the things that keep our friendship strong, solid.

Recently, one of these dear friends received some terrible news about her husband, a soldier who has been stationed in Afghanistan for the past ten months. He was severely injured in a suicide bombing attack. The first call my friend made was to one of our six. She knew without having to ask that word would travel, and we would be there. And we were. Within minutes of the initial phone call, those of us who could, dropped what we were doing to go to her, to bring comfort and support, and to help her through her shock.

That’s what friends are for.

Because I love my friend, I have felt emotionally on edge for the last week as we wait for word about what happens next. Our girls’ night this month happened to fall on this same friend’s wedding anniversary. So while her husband lay in pain in a military hospital in Germany, we celebrated his nineteen years with his wife. And for the first time in over a week, she was able to eat. She even laughed a little.

Writers understand the importance of good friends. We get together with other writers daily, or weekly, or whenever we can, in order to support one another. We celebrate our accomplishments, offer encouragement, and support one another. And when one of us has written something that needs a lot of help, we are not afraid to tell the brutal truth.

That’s what friends are for.

We may not know what the others eat for breakfast, but we will get to know our individual writing styles, and our punctuation and grammar flaws. We will know each other in a way none of our other friends can. And hey, I have to admit that occasionally the conversations of writers do veer off into creative cravings and sugar-ingesting habits. That kind of stuff just makes friendship all the more interesting.

If you are a writer without a group, I strongly suggest you find one. You may not realize how badly you need these friends until you actually have them. Friendship is one of life’s greatest rewards. Grab hold while you can. You never know where life will lead you. Today is your chance to make a new friend. Don’t let it pass you by.


Anonymous said...

Great post.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Sometimes we need a reminder about the things that are really important in life.

Triple Nickel said...

Excellent blog. Friends are so important. Having someone you can count on can make all the difference in life. Too many go through life lonely. Thanks for reminding us of what's really important!

Heather B. Moore said...

I love this blog. I have a great critique group and we've been through all of those things. It's amazing that friends can pull you through when you think nothing else can. I hope your friend's husband will make a good recovery.

sharon bell said...

Thanks. friends are important. sadly, for some of us women we get so caught up in life and family taht we forget to maintain our relationships with female friends.