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You gotta have friends...

My husband is my best friend. I delight in his company, seek his opinion, trust his counsel, and, at times, marvel at his patience.

That said, women need women friends too.  It's not that Lancelot isn't good about helping me buy a Birthday Ball dress.  As a matter of fact, I've never been Ball gown shopping with anyone but him.  It's just that female friends fill another need, answer another call and understand things in a way only women can.

When Lancelot was deployed to a combat zone, I was lucky to have a couple of wonderful friends who lived either right next door or just a little down the street. We were all going through various stages of deployments.  Many nights, we ended up on each other's couches alternately laughing and crying over silly things and big worries. Very simply, we were there for each other.

In comments on a previous post, I mentioned one of them.  I call her my soul sister.  We are just that much alike and in tune with each other.  Even though we now live far away (and soon to be much farther), I know that I can pick up the phone and pour my heart out, and she'll make time to listen to me, validate my feelings and give me thoughtful advice..  I hope I'm as good a friend to her as she has been to me.

Another is a writer who I initially got to know through her blog.  I finally emailed her one day to tell her how she seemed to be giving voice to my thoughts and feelings.  I find that I have so much in common with her as well. For example, we both hate lima beans.  Heh.  We have gotten together a couple of times and seem to email every day.  She's another one that I hope I give her as much as I take.

Yet another is someone I met in Egypt.  Queen B, as we call her, has attitude out the wazoo.  She is fearless and  I have no problem playing Louise to her Thelma.  She is the first person that I ever bought a tiara for and it fit like a glove.  She works for a government alphabet agency and is stationed in Baghdad for a certain length of time.  She's in town TDY just for this evening and I'm going to go have dinner with her tonight.  I guess that's what really sparked this post: friends and the different ways that we meet them. 

They may not be mil spouses but they might be.They may  be exactly like you or they might not.  What counts is do they show up for you and do you show up for them?  It doesn't matter how they show up: in email, make a call or knock on your front door.As a chaplain once told me, showing up is 93% of life.  How he got that figure, I do not know, but it seems a true statement to me.

For milspouses, this seems particularly true.    Aside from family (and more often than not, they aren't close by), we are each other's support network.  We have to be there for each other. I have noticed as well that friendships forged in times of conflict are made of steel.  And yes, you could go through life without making such friends but why would you when such a gift as close friendship is possible?

Who are you there for and who is there for you?How did you meet?  In military life we say goodbye all to frequently to our friends so what things do you do to keep your friendship together?

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