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PHONE A FRIEND
THE ONES WHO ARE THERE FOR US WHEN WE NEED THEM MOST
H uman connection has been a hot topic over the last few months, which seems ironic because there’s physically been so much less of it. But if there’s anything the world going sideways has shown, it’s that “connection” takes on a whole new meaning when it’s put in jeopardy. Marlene, Melissa, Kelly, and I all grew up in the same little New England town. Some of us met in kindergarten and some in elementary school, but none of us really became good friends until we joined our cheerleading squad in middle school. I can’t tell you exactly the moment we all realized we had become best friends — it was one of those connections that happened so naturally that its inception doesn’t matter. What matters is how strong our friendship has remained over all these years. Even though our lives took different routes that would have made it easy for our friendship to fade, we’ve instead remained just as close today as when we were young. Every year, we plan a trip to see one another and catch up on life. Even though we’ve been to Nashville, Las Vegas, Miami, and many more places, the location itself never stands out most in my mind when looking back. It’s the time spent together, picking up like we never left off in the first place, that always makes me look forward to those trips the most. Time has never changed our dynamic, and I know it never will. But more important than our ability to come together without missing a beat is our ability to be there for one another even when we’re miles apart. I planned to travel to the East Coast recently to visit my parents, and that trip always includes dinner plans with all the girls. But when travel plans had to be canceled, that meant time spent with loved ones had to be canceled, too. Well, not if my girlfriends could help it.
something special about the pure joy I feel when we jump on those calls together. There’s a lasting sense of comfort and love I feel long after we’ve had our last sip of wine and ended the call. We talk out rough weeks and share funny moments, just like we would in person. The way we get together doesn’t change anything about our friendship. In fact, these video calls have only made our friendship stronger because we’re now spending even more time together than before our busy lives prevented us from taking more than one or two trips a year. In a time when loved ones are kept apart and all the negative news in the world can drag our emotions through the mud, it’s friendships like the ones I have with Marlene, Melissa, and Kelly that give us those pockets of light we need in our lives. It doesn’t matter if a friendship has lasted decades or is brand new. No matter their length or location, our friendships shape our lives and give us memories. Friends become our second family and provide us with human connection when we need it most. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to slow down and truly appreciate all the things the friends in our lives mean to us. I know mine have given me so much over the years, and I can only hope I’ve returned the favor. We don’t know if another one of our trips together will happen anytime soon, but that’s the beauty of friendship — it doesn’t need milestones to prove just how meaningful it truly is.
Like many friends around the world, we’ve adopted a weekly Zoom call with one another. Saturday nights are for our virtual happy hour, and there’s
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