For the past year or so, my best friends and I have been planning a getaway weekend. Finally, last weekend, we made it happen. Although I wouldn't put Ocean City, Maryland at the top of a January vacation list, we got a great deal on a timeshare ($27 each - and that rented the condo for an entire week), planned a bunch of indoor and outdoor activities, and hit the road.
Our group began way back when with nine of us; there are eight now. The fact that we're all adoptive moms and our kids are all Korean formed the foundation of our friendship, although it no longer defines it. Some of us knew each other before we adopted, some of us have worked together or have been neighbors, too. Over the years these connections grew and grew until our little group became very tight, and we realized we had something really special.
We literally wrote our friendship in stone climbing to the top of Soraksan when we traveled to Korea together in 2001, and toasted it with soju to celebrate the climb. When we returned home, we promised to keep our friendship alive forever.
We aren’t all that similar. Our personalities run the gamut from off-the-charts A-type through down-to-earth to laid-back hippie. We have different professions, jobs and passions. We practice different faiths and none at all, although our politics , interestingly, are almost identical. But I think what binds us more than anything is the fact that we all acknowledge, and are willing to say out loud, how special our friendship is.
You can find us on the first Sunday of almost every month at a pastry shop we love, drinking coffee and tea and talking about what's going on in our lives. We cried a lot together after our dear friend MG passed away on January 31st, 2005. Mourning her loss made us realize just how important it was for us to nurture our friendship, and to never take it for granted.
In some ways, our weekend on the eastern shore was nothing special - we did a little shopping, some cooking and eating, and a lot of talking and laughing. But in fact it was very special indeed.
I love my friends – they are the truest blessing there is. I hope each and every one of you has friends like these, too. If you do, waste no time – tell them you love them, today. Call them, invite them over, organize a get-together. Just do it.
Because as I learned the hard way, sometimes the opportunity is lost forever.