A Letter To My Lifelong Friends

I want you to know that I don’t care about the miles between us, or the months apart, or the time between phone calls. No matter what, you’re my sister.

Hey there old friends,

I know it’s been a while and I’m sorry.

I would tell you that I have no excuse, except that I do. Since I had the twins a few years ago, things have been kind of hectic. Between working from home and taking care of my kids, I feel like I don’t get much time to myself. And when I do actually have 20 uninterrupted minutes, I kind of want to enjoy the silence, or just disappear into a book or some brainless reality TV show. Priorities, right?

It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you or know how you’re doing. It’s not that I don’t think about you. I think about you all the time. I get excited about your new ventures and adventures, the new loves and the babies on the way. I worry about you when I know things aren’t going so well. Sometimes, it keeps me up at night. You’re on my mind constantly. I want you to know that.

I know you’re busy too. I get it, and I don’t take it personally. You’re juggling your own families and work lives and to-do lists. I know that the new friends you’ve made are your go-to people, and I get that because I have my own go-to people as well. I know that you still care about me because, well, when you’ve been friends as long as we have, these are the things you just know.

I guess you could say that, at our age and at this point in our lives, we have our quantity friends and we have our quality friends. I have the friends I text with multiple times a day and see on the regular. And then, I have the friends, like you, whom I don’t get to talk to as often. We never seem to have time anymore for those hour-long phone chats, the daily IM-ing. It doesn’t occur to us to send each other emails anymore, or engage in some funny text exchange.

Still, when we do talk, it’s like no time has passed. We pick up where we left off, without awkwardness or resentment. We can do that because we know each other so well, and we’ve known each other so long. No matter how busy we are, no matter how many miles apart, you can’t take away the heart and soul and history of friendships that go way back.

You can’t take away all the mistakes we made together, and the lessons we learned from them. You can’t take away all the heartbreaks that we held each other through. You can’t take away the inside jokes that are, shockingly, still funny 20 years later. You can’t take away who we were, and how we knew each other then—younger versions of ourselves, all big emotions and silly fights and things that meant something and nothing at the same time. We had a lot to learn. I can’t believe you stuck by me back then. I must have made you crazy. But I guess that’s what good friends do.

We’ve watched each other change, seen how young women become grown women, some raising little women of their own. We’ve seen how all of those mistakes we made, ultimately led us to happiness. We’ve been there for the tough stuff too, sometimes just a voice on the phone, a few reassuring words, if we couldn’t be there in person. We’re there for each other, always. That love runs deep.

So, yeah, I’ve made some great new friends and I know that you have too. Things change. What did we expect? Still, few people know me as well as you do. Few people know the backstory. Few people get the subtext. Few people know why some seemingly small thing might be a big effing deal to me. You’ve seen who I was and you know who I am now. You were there for at least some part of the evolution. And you’ve always taken me just as I am. I can tell you anything, always, and trust that you won’t judge me. Well, actually, sometimes you judge me, but that’s OK—you’ve earned the right.  At least you’re honest with me, which not everyone can get away with.

I want you to know that I don’t care about the miles between us, or the months apart, or the time between phone calls. No matter what, you’re my sister. I’ve had friendships come and go and I never looked back. But that would never happen with us. If we’ve made it this long, I think it’s fair to say that we’ll still be friends when we’re old and gray.

There’s a reason we’ve been friends for so long, and why I know that we’ll stay friends for years to come. It’s that heart and soul and history thing—unbreakable. How lucky we are to still be in each other’s lives, to still love each other after all of this time, through everything, after everything. I miss you and I’ll call you soon.

With love,

Your forever friend

Jennifer Benjamin is an LA-based freelance writer and editor with over thirteen years of experience writing for national magazines and websites like Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, SELF, Parents Magazine, The Stir and Daily Glow. More important, she’s a Mommy to identical twin boys, as well as an avid cook, a terrible housewife, and a loungewear enthusiast. Find her on Twitter @JennyBenjamin or Facebook.

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