Friendships lasting over 50 years must be doing something right

Every relationship evolves – riding up and down on an endless roller coaster through life. For friendships however, the bonds that once united you don’t always keep you together.

Elisabeth Foley once said, “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” Elisabeth Foley

As many of us grow and mature, so do the relationships we once had. Our lives take us in different directions with new interests and discoveries – never diminishing the time we once spent together, but certainly changing the dynamics.

But that doesn’t happen to everyone I’m happy to say.

My mother-in-law and her friend Mary have known each other since they were teenagers. It’s a friendship that’s lasted over 50 years, surviving times of struggle and times of joy. That’s quite an accomplishment.

I’ve never asked either one of them, but if I had to make an assumption as to why their true friendship has lasted so long, I’d have to say it’s the genuine affection they have for each other. The respect, honesty and lack of pretense which causes their relationship to be sustainable. Not a lot of people can say that about the relationships they’re in.

I have the great pleasure of knowing Mary and can tell you it’s not hard to see why she’d make such a good friend. She is simply delightful – filled with a beauty and spirit many of us would be blessed to receive. But I suspect my mother-in-law already knows all that for just the other day she said, “I don’t care how old she is, she’ll always be my best friend.”

Friendships are built on all kinds of things, yet sometimes those “things” aren’t enough to keep the relationship going through the years. But some people like Mary and my mother-in-law obviously are doing something right.

I thank them both for teaching me a very valuable lesson. It’s not the amount of friends you have in this world, it’s the quality of the ones you do that counts.

Robert Brault once said, “Say what you want about aging, it’s still the only way to have old friends.”