When you are young, no one prepares you for the harsh reality of adulthood:

It’s really stinkin’ hard to make friends.

And, no, I’m not talking about the loosely associated ones who like your power, or your house, or your reputation.

I’m talking middle-of-the-night phone calls.
I’m talking spill your guts out and they’ll love you anyway.
I’m talking caring for your kids as their own.

The thing is, there is no way for us to see it in college—much less high school.

There are dozens and dozens of people around us for most of our waking hours:

Dining halls
Football games

But, one day, that best friend no longer lives down the hall . . . or block.

And suddenly you have the job, maybe even the family of your dreams.

But, at some point in adulthood, you have to begin again in a new community.

So, how do we cope? What’s the remedy?

Love people well while you get to be near them—and do whatever it takes to keep that love alive across the space between.

Because the truth is, we still need those people to celebrate with us when we win and to cry with us when we lose.

But a living, breathing relationship must be sustained.

So, type that text.
Dial that number.
And send that e-mail.

For what you are doing is no small act:

You are reminding another soul that life is short, but friends go the distance.

Even across the invisible miles of marriage, parenthood, and grief.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Lauren Fortenberry

Lauren Fortenberry is a passionate storyteller, educator, and mental health advocate, who has published and presented nationally and internationally on faith, motherhood, and children's health.