Phone a Friend

As a caregiver mama, I’ve noticed one thing that consistently adds joy to my days. Friendships. Maintaining friendships has been one of my best investments over the years. Four distinct kinds of friendships make the most beautiful bouquet when bundled together.

First, the long-term friendships that have been well-seasoned over many years. Those where we count our years of friendship in decades rather than single digits. I can call them about anything at any time. I have found it’s essential to treasure them and continue to foster the connection through spontaneous texts, timely phone calls, and meaningful invitations.

And how about the beauty of a new friend? A person who unexpectedly blows in like a spring
day, making the sun look a bit brighter and the sky more blue. The lady who invites you to lunch because she wants to get to know you better, and you end up talking for two hours. Time with a new friend is often refreshing and energizing. I also want to be the person who invites a new friend to lunch. If we have forgotten the beauty of a new friendship, it may be time to take the first step toward a new friendly face.

Friends from all areas of my daily and weekly routines who make my life richer. For example, my neighbors, church friends, book club, and other moms of my children’s friends. These people are like cherries on top of ice cream sundaes. They make a good day even better. There is something about an evening walk on my street, stopping to talk to a neighbor about her flower garden or her latest travel. It is relaxing and lovely all at the same time.

And this last crew, so near and dear to me that I can’t imagine life without their encouragement and support, my caregiving friends. Some provide care to their aging parents, their disabled spouse, or, like me, long-term care of a special needs child. In addition, I’ve been surprised to learn I can find support and friendship with other caregivers using technology and social media. In recent years, I have found myself on Zoom calls and in online support groups with new friends who can intimately relate to the daily challenges of caregiving. Sometimes, we communicate like secret agents, exchanging sensitive information about all things medical and the latest new therapies. And, on the sweetest days, we still have time for camaraderie and chuckles that boost our mental health.

It is tempting to stop maintaining friendships in challenging seasons, but let’s not! God knew we needed each other. 

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times…

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.