I’ve often had lunch with a friend, a dear friend of 50 years. We met when each of us was pregnant with our daughters. We were fortunate enough to be stay-at-home moms. Our husbands worked for the same company in Cumberland Mills. While we were trying to save money for down payments on our homes, we both lived in mill rents. These fit our budgets and still allowed us to save some money. Our rents were back-to-back and our kitchen windows faced each other. We would lift our window shades in the morning to let the other know we were ready for coffee.

We bought homes in different towns, but always continued to stay in touch and spend time together. As young families, each with a son and daughter, we traveled together. Trips to North Pole, New York, and a first trip to Disney, paid in full before we even got on the plane.

We spent many July 4ths together. We’d watch the kids running through the tall grass in the backyard. They’d be giggling and collecting lightning bugs in Mason jars. We spent many New Year’s Eves together. One New Year’s when our girls were just babies, my folks offered to babysit so we could go to a dinner dance in Portland. My folks were good that way.

As couples, we celebrated our 25th anniversaries on our first cruise with each other. We went to Ireland together. We took cooking and painting classes together. Life was good, and we both appreciated what we had. Our families were happy and healthy.

Our children grew. We grew, too. We went back to work. The kids went off to college and soon married. The grandkids were born. We shared life’s joys and sorrows with laughter and tears. We kept the faith. We wished each other well. We had a lot in common.

The one thing we did not have in common was our political ideologies. On occasion, we have tread lightly. We have had our differences, even arguments, but neither of us is willing to allow our opposing views to destroy our friendship. We have invested too much heart and too much soul to let it go. We have agreed that we can disagree, and that neither of us is going to convince the other to change their mind. It’s OK!

Today, I had lunch with my friend again. We talked about the kids, the husbands, the grandkids, one headed off to college in the fall and one just turning 3. We shared a story or two, some sad, some funny. We laughed. As I drove home, my heart was light and happy.

Biden will not last. Trump will not last. But I feel quite certain my friend will be my friend forever. For that, I am so very grateful.

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