My phone rings and instantly I get a feeling of dread.
I hate it when my phone rings because it either means someone wants to sell me something, I need to make a dentist appointment, or my kindergartner is in the nurse’s office again.
When I pick up my phone, I see her face on the screen and my heart leaps for joy. My finger taps the answer button and I hear it.
As I hear her voice on the other end of the line, a smile appears on my face and I can feel my body relax. The sweet sound of my friend’s voice is all I need some days.
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I met my friend over 20 years ago in middle school. I have vivid memories of sitting with her in our middle school gym playing the hand-slap game, talking about our crushes, and complaining about our uncomfortable bodysuits we had snapped under our Z Cavaricci jeans.
We attended most of high school together and ended up at the same college. We went through too many boyfriend breakups to count, first drunken nights, and first apartments together. Most of my life, she has been there, right beside me.
I’ll never forget the day I said goodbye to her. The U-Haul was all packed up with goodwill furniture, sorority t-shirts, my Mini Cooper on the trailer behind. My boyfriend sat in the driver’s seat, ready to drive me away from my hometown.
She stood there in the parking lot, tears streaming down her cheeks. We’ve said goodbye before, but this one seemed so final. And it was.
That was 11 years ago. I am now married to that boyfriend and we’ve moved all over the country together, but I’ve never made it back to my best friend.
In spite of the distance, this woman and I have celebrated in each other’s marriages, babies, and heartbreaks together. Through all the ups and downs, she’s been there for them all.
Even though I only see my friend every few years, she is still a big part of my daily life.
We’ve made our friendship work because it’s a priority for both of us.
Maintaining a Long-Distance Friendship
Since becoming wives and mothers it’s hard for us to hop on a plane to visit on another. So we’ve discovered some fun ways to stay in touch without the cost of traveling.
I love having coffee with friends. Nothing is better than sitting down with a nice cup hot cup of coffee and chatting about life with someone who gets you.
Just like a regular coffee date, my long-distance friend and I make plans to meet at a certain time and date. Instead of meeting at a local coffee shop, we sign into Skype or Google Hangouts.
We warm our hands with up our cups of hot coffee and video chat. It’s wonderful to see her face, mannerisms, and her precious children.
We both live very busy lives, but we find the time for a coffee date every few months.
Have you ever heard of friendship trinkets? They are little gifts that get passed back and forth between friends.
My friend and I have a trinket that we share. It’s a book of quotes that we’ve both had possession of over the years.
Whenever life gets hard for one of us the other one will take our quote book, mark a few sayings with post-it notes and send it off in the mail. This book is more than just a few quotes. It’s a reminder that my friend is thinking of me, supporting me, and praying for me during a really hard time.
Even if I never crack it’s spine, I feel the love in that book every time I hold it.
This has been our newest way to stay connected.
Both my friend and I are working hard to get back in shape and we both have a Fitbit.
We use our Fitbits to challenge each other to get off our butts and get moving. It’s great motivation and it keeps me accountable.
Plus, every time I look at my step count, I think of my friend. It’s not only a physical reminder of my goals but of my friendship too.
Who likes to talk on the phone these days? Not me! I’d rather text, chat, or handout on FB with my friends.
Besides my Mom, my friend is the only other person in my life that I have actual phone conversations with on a regular basis.
It’s not uncommon for one or both of us to have screaming kids in the background, but neither one of us mind. We love chatting and hearing about each other’s crazy days.
Going old school and having regular phone conversations keeps us connected.
Throughout my day to day life, I run across things that remind me of my best friend. I’ve randomly found little trinkets or gifts, like this coffee cup, that remind me of her. So I send her little gifts for no particular reason.
She does the same for me.
It’s nice to get a surprise package in the mail from a long-distance friend. It’s a little reminder that I’m loved and that I have a great friend out there.
Even though the distance may keep us a part, it is possible to have a healthy, strong, and long-lasting friendship with a long-distance friend.
It’s hard for me to talk on the phone because I have a 1-year old and a 2.5-year old … their “spidey-senses” start tingling when they know Mom is on the phone and they come climb on me screaming that they want to talk 🙂
Luckily, all of my friends (they all live in different states) understand this. And, to make up for it I set task reminders on my calendar to reach out to each of them on a different day of the week. I send a text, a video hello, a funny meme … all kinds of things that help them to know that I’m thinking of them.
And, it’s nice to get their replies virtual hugs!
Thank you for these great ideas!