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striped kittens sleeping together

Family and friends. Sometimes they are one and the same. Sometimes your friends become your family and sometimes family become your friends. It doesn’t matter whether they are blood related or not, family and/or friends are necessary for our mental health, in good times and in bad.

What makes a friend as dear to you as family? Simply put, it’s love. Even though they may not live close enough to be with them as often as you would wish, you know they care. They are there for you when you need them most whether in person or on the phone; when you just want to enjoy some relaxation with someone you can ‘let down your hair’ with, be yourself with, you want to be with them – contiguous; when you can make a fool of yourself-or spill the entire contents of your coffee mug-you know it’s okay, you don’t feel as if you’ve ruined your friendship by being a klutz.

But that’s only half of the story, or it should be. There’s an old saying, “to have a friend you have to be a friend”. That means that when your friend needs you, you have no hesitation, you want to be there for them. There’s nowhere else you would rather be but there with them while they work through whatever their pain or problem is. Even if you can’t do a thing to help, you want to be there, sit quietly and listen, make a cup of tea or coffee,  or whatever it is they like best to comfort them. You want to do a load of washing, cook a meal, do some chores which will free them up when they need it.

What a lonely world this would be without family and friends. Moving from your home to the other side of the world would be so much harder if you had neither family or friends. In Torn Mary finds new friends along the way, friends who become her family. A friend she expected to be as close to her as family turned out not to be the person she thought she was, well, at least not in Torn. And, those she didn’t expect to like as friends in the beginning became her family.

Today I’m feeling blessed that I have both family and friends whom I love dearly. Family who are friends and friends who are family and I want to thank you all for being there for me recently. I hope I can return the favour though hopefully you won’t need me for quite the same reasons as I needed you recently.