Today I am grateful for friends.
There are the "old" friends that knew me "back when". Some of them were a part of the growing up process and all contributed in some way to making me who I am today. There are the friends that stumbled along with me through those teenage years. Thanks to Facebook, I've re-connected with them and am happy to see that we all made it out of those years mostly unscathed. There were the friends who despite being in another stage of life than me, allowed me into their lives and served as mentors through the early years of marriage and child-rearing. To this day, their advice and example do not go disregarded in my life.
Then there are the "now" friends that share with me "up close and personal" what is going on in my life. We laugh and cry together and count on each other for prayers, for recipes, and for encouragement. We help each other with mid-life issues, and teenager/letting go issues, and show each other how to Facebook and tie a scarf. A few are the ones who you let in your house when it's dirty, who will give you a honest answer regarding your hairstyle or wardrobe, and who will listen to you rant without judgement.
From a birthday card I received last week:
"Forget the calories. Forget the years. If you must count something, count your friends"