Now generally speaking that phrase can stand on its own: many of us living overseas without family close by have friends that not only are worthy of, but have become “our” family. I have the good fortune to not only have a lovely family, but also many such friends.
Friends have helped me celebrate; friends have helped me grieve; friends have done huge favors; friends have been there when I needed transportation, food, a shoulder to cry on or reason to laugh.
Friends are what make one’s life worthwhile and I hope that I am as good a friend to mine as they are to me.
But although the large things are appreciated, in the end the stepping stones of friendship are yet again, as I have been want to often say, are the little, everyday acts of kindness: the regular tea or coffee meetings, the e-mailed joke, the lunch together.
Then there are the even smaller bits of information: one of my friends called me this afternoon to simply let me know that the store in the next village over again had crumpets!
I am now set for the coming weeks and have a very warm feeling for that particular person.