I’m driving solo out of history-drenched Savannah.  Thanks to one of my dearest of friends, my heart feels full, healed and yet painfully empty too.

Blessed with an unstoppable 28-year friendship, we have lived most of that time hundreds of miles apart.  It had been years since we’d had any “galfriend” time together.  Yes, there was a wedding in between our last “reunion” and this one.  Joyous as weddings are, however, their emphasis naturally centers around group celebrations and not on orchestrating one-on-one time for old friends …. and, chances for extended visits are even more rare at weddings if your best buddy happens to be the mother of the groom.

 All of a sudden, there she was standing in the hotel’s busy lobby.  In spite of all the hustle and bustle, noise, comings and goings of busy folks…I saw only her.  It was as if not a single day had passed since our last visit.

 We shared as only the best of friends can do. Lots of laughter and occasionally a tear or two.  We pondered and enthusiastically attempted to solve the world’s problems.

 We talked lightheartedly, seriously and reminiscently and almost nonstop for we knew our time together was all too brief.  From time to time, we sat peacefully with no chatter.  Being silent together is easy for us… something that seems almost impossible to do with many other people in our lives.

 We walked miles down Savannah’s cobble-stoned and bustling riverfront and through its colorful and always mystical historic district.  We shopped and found my “magical” shoes — magical, of course, only for reasons known to two buddies sharing a silly and fun moment together.

 We savored (and stretched) our dining hours to the fullest. Savannah’s known for its diverse and wonderful food choices, but its’ culinary specialties are not what made our meals deliciously memorable.  Our friendship enriched every step we walked, every bite eaten, every single moment of new and treasured memories made.

 It seemed like the 3 days and two nights we reserved for the two of us were over before they ever got off the starting block.  That’s what happens when we’re doing work or personal things that we love…so easy to lose track of time and it flies by at undesired, supersonic speeds no matter how hard we wished otherwise.

 Forty-eight blessed hours with a true friend…sharing in the purest way where neither of us desires or tries to hold center stage for too long – we have always effortlessly taken turns talking sharing our joys, our heartaches, our questions, lessons learned and so much more.

 All too soon, it was over.  We had to head back into our real worlds — in opposite directions –and not knowing when we would pull off our next mini-reunion.  We agreed and committed, however, to making it happen sooner not later.  More frequent phone calls was another promise made.

As I leave the moss-draped streets of old Savannah, I drive slowly down Bay Boulevard between River Street and the historic district.  While stopped at a light, I glance over at the people-packed sidewalks.  Just hours before she and I had walked along the same path with renewed bounces in our steps and a lightness of heart.

I’m overwhelmed emotionally as I think of the joy and value of her friendship to me.  A huge smile erupts across my face without any planned effort on my part; a lone tear slides slowly down my cheek.

I am now on the outskirts of Savannah with many interstate miles ahead of me.  As I leave the city’s cathedral-rich skyline in my rearview mirror, I think of what real friends across the world share regardless of nationality, color, gender or any other differences.  We are all rich even if we have only one true friend in our lives.

We must take care of each other and our rare, extraordinary bonds.  They are too precious to let the never-ending busyness of our days interfere with our nurturing these lifetime treasures.

Savannah is now far from my rear view mirror.  My thoughts seem to be transitioning back to my calendar “to do’s” and deciding which Sirius XM station to choose for this leg of my journey.  I could not hang on to our precious time together, but I am carrying home with me a heart abundantly full from all the depths and treasures of our friendship.  Funny thing though — the ol’ heart – albeit full for so many reasons – is also feeling painfully empty from yet another unwanted goodbye.

~ To the true friends of my life…Thank You ~

About the author 

Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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