Tell me about your longest and/or most significant friendship

The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
edited February 16 in Heaven
Having both a brother as well as three brothers-in-law, I most heartily agree with the notion that "a friend sticks closer than a brother," LOL. So, let's celebrate those friendships below. Tell us about your closest friend. :blush:


  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    I'll start. My best friend also happens to be my longest. I'm 54 (tomorrow!) and "D." and I have been friends for 52 years. We met as toddlers in a church nursery on a very cold and snowy Sunday in early 1972. Our mothers both delivered daughters later that same year, and sons in 1975, so all of us kids had a playmate, and since our parents hit it off well, too, they were glad to get us all together. We didn't live in the same town for long, but just a few years of early connections laid the foundation for a friendship that has lasted a lifetime. Our sisters and brothers have drifted apart, but our parents remain great friends, and D. and I do as well, though we don't see each other very often. We did end up at the same undergraduate university, where we conspired to take a few classes together. D. is a very intelligent person, who's also very creative, and very insightful. He has a knack for making complex things simple, and is a very good teacher (he's now a college professor). He has helped me through difficult times, and been a consistent, reliable, encouraging presence throughout. D. has a wonderful wit, and great sense of humor. Our own young families did not line up, though we both have two kids -- one son and one daughter each -- born in opposite orders and stair-stepped in age. Oddly, we didn't see each other from the fall of 2010 until early this past December. Of course, FaceTime and Zoom calls, regular phone calls, texts, emails, and the occasional handwritten letters have happened and been exchanged during this years-long interval, but it was a terribly long time, all during which we'd quip, "We really need to get together sometime soon!" Our reason for meeting-up last winter was actually coincidental -- I was visiting my daughter at our collegiate Alma Mater where both of our daughters happened to be attending as well(!), and he and his wife arrived a day later to move their daughter back home! We shared a quick beverage while packing their van, and then they were off! I'm glad to say we have tentative plans to spend some time in his part of the country this summer. So that's a quick rundown of my longest and best friendship -- one I hope continues for a good while longer.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I'm married to my best friend.

    Not my oldest though - but I lost three of those (two from uni, one postgrad) last year.

    Sad to say, the longer the life, the fewer the friends.
  • @Firenze, I think my MotherInLaw would relate as she's now 92 and many of her closest pals have now gone. Dad's GP told him if you want to die with your friends around you, you have to be prepared to go first, which is quite the sobering thought.

    I have a couple of friendships that I would consider enduring, though I think perhaps the wheels have fallen off one over Covid. My parents made friends with a lady where we living at the time and her daughter was the same age as me. Funnily enough, at school we did not engage much, but were very much weekend friends and would play together in the school holidays. Even though they went away to school and I've not seen them for 40+ years, we always write at Christmas and keep in touch. Not so the last couple of Christmases and perhaps they are now busy with other things, as life can be like that.

    My other closest friend I did not make until I was 16. We were in the same classes and stayed in touch post school. She was a bridesmaid for me and I read a lesson at her wedding. She visited several times when our son was ill as she lived reasonably close to the hospital and had worked in that network in her professional capacity. The times our kids have interacted have been when our son was pretty sick, so I think those could have gone better. Thank goodness she understood that.

    Throughout births, illness and deaths we have been there for one another and it was good to be able to write to her with some remembrances of her Mum and her kindnesses to me.

    I hope in retirement we might be able to see more of one another and I've begun trying to email more frequently as it's so easy to let friendships slide when we are busy with our own lives. Sometimes I just send a text with a photo attached to say I'm thinking of you today
  • My friend Pat and I met in first grade. 80 years late I still think of her as one of my best friends, even though she now lives in Canada and I am in the USA. We keep in touch online and by phone. The last time I saw her in person was 30 years ago. "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold."
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    The Friendship with my wife goes back over 50 years. Next comes my daughter since she became an adult although I have to share her with her own family.

    I have had very many acquaintances and 4 friendships of note. Two of them are dead and two of them I have lost contact with.
  • North East QuineNorth East Quine Purgatory Host
    One of my most significant friendships started in 2008 when a Shipmate sent me a PM which started "I'd like to ask you something about the Church of Scotland." We pm'd for a bit, then exchanged e-mail addresses and had the sort of full and frank exchange of soul-baring thoughts on church / faith / religion which is facilitated by being anonymous people on the internet, who would never meet in RL. We knew a lot about each other before we knew each others surnames and exact locations.

    We met in RL for the first time in 2010. I don't think a week has ever gone by since 2008 that one or the other of us hasn't e-mailed. I'm planning to visit her this summer.

    (She's no longer a Shipmate, btw.)
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    My friend. Trish. We met in University, and got to know each other when I slept on her floor when I went back for a visit . She is our son’s godmother and honorary godmother to our daughter in law.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I first met Nettie and Karen when I went to secondary school, and we knew each other right through to university before we went our separate ways and lost touch. Then years later Nettie found me via my blog, and invited me to her annual "lunch with Prince Charles" (they turned one of the buildings at Highgrove into a restaurant in the run up to Christmas - Prince Charles was not actually there) with Karen, and it was as if we'd never been apart!
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    My late husband was my best friend. Now I would say it is my daughter.
    Otherwise two groups.
    1. A group of friends who were all in the same hall of residence. We rarely meet in person - the last time was just before lockdown- but we keep in touch regularly, and might meet in twos or threes rather than all five. We pick up where we left off. We are all churchgoers and four of us are singers, though this was not the uniting factor at university. If we lived close by we would be close friends in real life.

    2. I belong to another group of seven, who have only all met up once, though several sub-groups have met. We have corresponded monthly for the past 40 years. Because of the longevity and frequency, we probably know more about each other than any other friends. We openly and amicably disagree over issues. Apart from being female and now all 70+ we have no other specific uniting factors. We would probably not all be friends in real life if we lived close by.

    + Locally, I have a number of friends, mostly through choirs, but they are not really significant friends, though the church choir friends have become a close-knit group in the last couple of years.
  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    Have just exchanged emails with a couple of friends from HS. They started dating our senior (final) year, and married shortly after college. I’ve known them since 1983, but we last spoke in 1998 at our 10-year reunion. Maybe we drift back into each others’ oblivion, but I hope not.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    edited March 7
    Mr Boogs is very much my best friend but we don’t do everything together. He’s a keen cyclist and musician, I like group activities (clay club, art, yoga, tai chi, charity work etc)

    I have a group of five friends. We’ve been friends for 50 years. We met at Church. We used to meet up twice a week for coffee/food, as well as Church activities. Every year we go away on holiday together for a week. This year it’s Lanzarote in September. Now that I’ve moved daaarn saaarf I don’t see them so much but I’m going up to see them for a few days in May. We are all turning 70 in the next five years, and the one who’s 70th year it is gets their holiday payed for by the rest.

    I now have a new friend who lives on my street. She’s my age and very nice. We go swimming every Friday, art class Thursdays and out for a meal some Wednesdays when Mr Boogs is at band.

  • The last time I saw her in person was 30 years ago. "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold."

    Is that a Girl Scout that I see?
  • 'Tis but a Girl Scout of the mind...

    My closest friend dipped a toe into Ship waters and decided it was not for her. I've known her since I married and moved here to start a teaching fellowship at my university, and she was kind enough to lend me her materials and good advice. She turned out to be a fellow Lutheran (at a Catholic university) and we just kept seeing each other. Over the years, she's been a major quiet backstopper for our ministry, not just in prayer but in practical acts like hospitality, advice, letting me blow off steam, and the like. She's also my son's godmother. We talk every week or so, and are scheduled to hear the St. John's Passion (Bach) this Sunday together.
  • agingjbagingjb Shipmate
    My longest friendship was with a cousin of almost exactly the same age. I can remember our third birthdays in August and September 1941. Our parents have long gone, only my sister and one of his brothers remains of that time.

    We were friends. Our lives were often parallel, but often diverged. We did not always agree, but in what we did agree we were right.

    But now he has gone. I greave, but more I feel shock. He was stronger than me.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    My best friend and I met when we were ten years old and she showed up in my class at school. We became close friends about two years later and have stayed close ever since, through all the ups and downs of life. When we were about 14 I (being of a very evangelical mindset at the time) invited her to come to church with me, and ever since then we have belonged to the same church and shared a faith (I would say that today, her faith is probably deeper/more unshakeable than mine, while I'm the one who attends church more regularly and is more actively involved; either way, our faith is one thing that binds us together, as does our long shared history).

    We live in the same city, talk on the phone frequently and get together once a month or so. Sometimes we can go longer without talking/seeing each other, but we are always there for each other in times of crisis. Currently she is being treated very badly in a re-organization by her (church-owned, of course!) employer, and we are connecting frequently to talk through the issues around that. We don't see eye to eye on everything and there are areas of life that we don't have in common, but we have been part of each other's lives for so long I can't imagine it any other way. I have other friends that I am close to in different ways, but I still call her my "best friend" as well as my oldest.
  • TwangistTwangist Shipmate
    I've known my bestie since we were 3. He has described our relationship like this "he’s family. The friend who was there when I started primary school, all the way through until we completed A-Levels. The friend who was my best man and I his, the friend who has always been there for births, marriages and deaths. He’s the person whom I could trust and turn to no matter what was going on. The thing about such a close friend is that somehow they are bullshit proof and no matter what I was involved in it couldn’t destroy our friendship, solid and unbreakable, one of a handful of certainties in an ever changing world"
    Which is pretty amazing - I completely concur.
    I've needed folk like that in my corner particularly in the last few years.
  • TwangistTwangist Shipmate
    Even though we live hundreds of miles apart our kids are friends which is a lovely thing.
  • Just got back from hearing the St. John Passion with my best friend. Much enriched by a gorgeous set of biblical stained glass windows just behind the musicians.
  • TwangistTwangist Shipmate
    Just got back from hearing the St. John Passion with my best friend. Much enriched by a gorgeous set of biblical stained glass windows just behind the musicians.

    I'm jealous!
  • Indeed. I used to go to concerts there with Rossweisse …
  • SpikeSpike Ecclesiantics & MW Host, Admin Emeritus
    It’s taken me ages to get around to writing this.

    Back in 1984 I was a bellringer at my church. A bloke called Steve turned up at the tower and we hit it off pretty quickly.

    Over the years we went through a lot together. We were regular drinking buddies and would sink plenty of beer while putting the world to rights. There was plenty we had in common, but also plenty we disagreed about.

    We shared a flat for a while and went on holiday together a few times. We saw each other through some pretty disastrous relationships.

    I was Godfather to his daughter who was later a bridesmaid when Mrs Spike & I got married.

    We didn’t see much of each other over the last few years as he moved away from London and bought a narrowboat which became his permanent residence. His idea was to travel the country in it, but that never happened.

    Although we didn’t see much of each other, we kept in regular contact on the phone.

    In November last year he called me. His speech was very slurred and he wasn’t making a lot of sense, but he was able to tell me that he was in hospital having just been diagnosed with cancer which was already at a very advanced stage. He said “it might linger on but I bloody hope it doesn’t”. I wanted to visit him, but he didn’t seem to know which hospital he was in.

    I spoke to him a few days later. This time he sounded even more vague and his speech was even more slurred. He told me he was about to be discharged from hospital.

    After that, his phone went dead and I was unable to contact him. A week later I learned from his daughter that he had died two days after we had spoken.

    A few weeks ago we got together in his local pub and scattered his ashes in the river by his boat along with a bottle of Fuller’s London Pride.
  • In recent years I reconnected with one of my oldest friends from primary school through our mutual interest in model railways, but COVID and health issues for both of us has reduced that to online contact. I still see a couple of friends from high school who went to the same teachers' college.
    However, my most enduring friendship dates from my teen years when I began volunteering with my friend who is ten years older, again through mutual interest in railway history. Almost six decades later, we still see each other once a month, our wives are great friends and he is godfather to my daughter.
    Living, worshipping and volunteering in the same small town for the last 48 years means daily contact with other enduring friends but without the underlying familial involvement.
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