Holding Aces


There’s a marked difference between acquaintances and friends. Most people really don’t become friends. They become deep and serious acquaintances. But in a friendship you get to know the spirit of another person; and your values coincide. Friends may disagree, but not about serious matters. A friend will stand for you when you are no longer able. A woman can say to herself, If I die, I know that my friend, my sister friend will be here to hold up the banner. Now that’s very profound. ~ Dr. Maya Angelou in an article written by By Marcia Ann Gillespie for Essence magazine. 

I think we get confused between our true friendships and acquaintances. My friend Cynthia sent me the picture that is posted above. No words just the picture. My immediate thought was, “Is she bragging that she is having a cup of hot chocolate and whipped cream? And why doesn’t that cup have enough whipped cream on it? I know we both love it.” It took me back 20, uh 25, uh almost 30 years ago as young women when we’d sit together drink chocolate with the can of whipped cream between us. There was never enough whipped cream in our cups and towards the end of our cup, our chocolate would be lukewarm. Cynthia is one of my Aces. She holds a place in my heart like none other. We’ve been friends for over 30 years. That’s speaks of storms and sunshine we’ve weathered together. Even though we don’t call each other often we both pick up exactly where we leave off each time. We know if there is something needed we have each other’s back.

I hold a few more Aces, I’d dare say more than one woman deserves. But the heart of this post is using your words carefully. Are you friends with someone, because that takes time and vulnerability, or are you acquaintances, which is friendly and kind and often strong? You can develop very strong acquaintances, but friends are different. You can develop very strong mentorship relationships, but friends are different. You can develop very strong maternal friendships, but friends are different.

We tend to be very casual about the word friend. We call someone a true friend, then drift away and  meet another true friend. That’s the difference. A true friend doesn’t leave. A true friend believes the same thing you do. A true friend loves you enough not to betray you or mistake the trust you’ve given her. Ever. A true friend tells you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it.

The person that goes it alone is worrisome to me. She has never given herself permission to be free she has too much at stake. She mistrusts others intentions or finds it too risky to love. She sees friendship as risky or there has to be something in it for her. That’s a hard way to live.

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