Sunday, February 24, 2008

A "Trench" Friend!

Some random thoughts about "trench friends!"~

The picture above is of someone I don't even know. But this post isn't about the people in the picture it's about what they are doing. These soldiers are digging "trenches." Today I was reading a blog friend's blog. She talked about "trench friends." Now maybe that isn't all that new to you, but I had never heard it before. Once I read about it, I realized and it made such a visual imagine for me in my mind that I wanted to share some thoughts about "trench friends" with you!

So as any good writer knows it is important to define terms so that the reader can understand what is being written or what they are reading. A "trench friend" is: "Friends that are not only with you through all of the good times, but also never abandon you and stay close in the "trenches" of your life." How cool is that! I don't know if that is a technical definition, but Heather D. White wrote it and I really like it, so I am going to keep it! THERE, you have it!

Can't you just see your friends with your down in the "trenches" of your life? I can...

So what about the "trench friends" in my life. I have been thinking about that. As an only girl growing up with three brothers, I really didn't understand girls too much. They seemed too moody and too "dramatic" for my tastes. I really enjoyed the friendship of boys more than I did the girls around me. I had 8-10 girls my age at church that I grew up with, but I really wasn't extremely close to any of them. I considered Liz Perryman one of my dear "high school" friends. She was also a year younger than I was, so when I talk about church friends, she was always in another class or another group. We still keep in touch today. She was a great friend and I think we really could count on each other for support when we needed it. Her home life wasn't the greatest--her mom was our seminary teacher and a great one at that. Her dad and mom ended up divorcing and moving away shortly after I graduated from High School. My parents really wanted to help Liz on her mission and so they did. I think it was one of the greatest things my dad ever did. He was so proud of her and her accomplishments.

After High School I hung out with the large group of Young Single Adults in San Diego and had a great friend, Valerie Fenn. She was always a blast to be around and we really did do some fun things together. Our phones would start to ring on Friday afternoon and it would be our friends wanting to know what we had planned for everyone for the week-end. We called ourselves "social planners." We were really good at what we did! Valerie and I have stayed friends for years. I can really say of Valerie that she was a "trench friend" for me. --There are way too many adventures to write about on this one blog. Valerie deserves a whole blog entry of her own. I'll get right on it.

On my mission I learned from the German people that to have one or two close friends was all that we could possible ask for in this life. The word "friend" in German is not used lightly at all! There is a word for people we know and people who are our friends. WOW! I would have to say that in English we way over use the word "friend." We really do. I know I do! On my mission I made some great friends with some of my mission companions. One dear friend/companion and I still keep in touch. Patty Bracken has been a dear friend. Our lives have been lived many miles apart but we seem to be able go in and out as events happen.

As I have been married and have seen my brother's marry, I have been blessed with some great "friends/sister-in-laws." Because Daren and I are the youngest in our families, our brother's and sister married while we were still very young. But, I have learned over the years to rely on my sister-in-law's for support in raising my own children and in some of the situations that have come up. NICE! For me, sister-in-law's have been a real blessing to me. I appreciate them so much. They have been down in the trenches with me and for me!

In Salt Lake, as a young married I was quickly put into some situations that allowed me to make friends with people who were usually older than I was.--much older sometimes. I loved what I learned from them. One such friend is "Dickie" Wentworth. She has remained one of my dearest friends ever. For me the trenches have come when Dickie's good friend Becky died. Or when Dickie's husband was critically hurt in a car accident as he was on his way to speak on the Saturday night session of their Stake Conference. Trenches with Dickie have some as I lost my dad, or when I have needed to ask about how to do something with my children as to not scare them for life. We have cried and laughed and shared some great successes and some very low disappointments. We really are able to laugh, cry and enjoy our time together. I consider her to be the "go-to-person" when I have a question about most anything. She has done such a great job with her children and I really admire her. She is a true "trench friend."

When Daren had a chance to teach at a small Liberal Arts College in upstate New York for a year, we took it! There I had the chance to work and serve and be friends with two great women. Others called us the "Mafia--the Dynamic Threesome." For the year I lived there Randa McBride and Tara Mickelsen became my best est friends. We bonded quickly. I just remember Thursday nights watching "ER" and scrap booking and laughing and crying together and going to bed at 3 or 4 in the morning! We each had several children and that was sometimes not such a great idea. We played, served and worked hard together. It was a time I will never forget. We did so many fabulous things in that year.

Now, I have been in Kearney, NE for the past seven and half years. I have truly been served by some great woman. I have not made a "best" friend here. I have had women that who have stood by me in some really rough times and who's friendship I really cherish. I have great friends inside and outside of the church here. It's such a great feeling to be a conversation with someone and have them say "I will pray for you." This is usually from a member of another faith. How cool is that~!

I hope that I will continue to add "trench friends" to my circle. I hope that when I die my trenches will be full. Full of women who have been there when the trenches were full of blossoms or tears of joy and also when the trenches were full of water from tears of sorrow and disappointment.

So to all the women in my life who have been and who are my "trench friends," Thank-you! You are some great women .


Heather D. White said...

Fabulous entry Ann! I especially love the picture you added. And's not an "official" definition...just a "Heather Definition" - does that count? LOL! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about friends!

Valerie said...

Love the "trench friends" - thanks for being one of mine! And I'm honored to be one of yours!

I have a handful of friends that no matter how much time goes by - years even, when we do chat - it's like no time has gone by at all.

I got my package - THANKS!!!!!! I have to share?!!!!

I wish there were some way I could package up some rolled tacos and guac and send them to you!! If you think of a way, let me know!!!

Amazed said...

great post! I couldn't survive the trenches without friends!

Mary Woodman said...

Good post!! This is so true...being in the military and away from family I've really come to count on my "trench friends"!! I love ya!!

Cornfields, children and waterballet said...

These are all such great comments. I am sure I have left off some friends, nieces, and others who are so wonderful in my life.

Thanks for making my day!

I realize I really need to take the time and PROOFREAD my entries. Sorry for all the errors.