Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friends Should Be A Synonym For Family

My friends ARE my family. I love them and when they enter my heart, they stay there. Fortunately for me, some of my closest friendships were formed young – at five years old – in fact. I went to the same school from kindergarten through twelfth grade, an all-girls school, so the value of a female friend was learned early. The friends I made in kindergarten are still the friends I count on, run to, call in a crisis.

My book, Whistlin’ Dixie In A Nor’easter, has a quartet of childhood best friends as one of the sub-plots. My heroine, Leelee, finds herself in crisis after moving all the way from Tennessee to Vermont only to have her husband abandon her to run their Inn by herself. Leelee’s girlfriends waste no time in jumping to her rescue. They are her family.

I was able to write about those deep, loyal relationships due to the experiences in my own life. When I got “the call” from my literary agent, Holly, that Thomas Dunne Books wanted to buy my book, it just so happened that I had a trip to New York planned the following weekend. Two of my BFF’s that I had known since kindergarten and I had been planning a significant birthday trip to The Big Apple and as a side-trip we had planned to get together with Holly for lunch. Not only did they end up meeting cute, adorable Holly, but we all got to celebrate with my new, cute adorable editor, Katie. That night we ordered champagne at Gramercy Tavern and Wilda and Emily, clinked champagne glasses together with mine to celebrate in one of the most joyous times in my life. We grew up together. Watched our childhoods fly into adolescence and our teens revolve into our twenties. Now . . . ahem . . .in our, I’ll just say later years, we are still walking with each other through our joys, our fears, and thankfully our crazy calamities. We are overly blessed to have one another.

Now for a word about newer friends. Although I’ve only lived in Franklin for 13 years, I feel like I’ve known my Franklin friends forever. They’ve walked with me through the raising of my children, good jobs and bad ones, and some of the most difficult times I’ve known. They are also . . . my family. Even though my family of origin has diminished to just three siblings, whom I love dearly and also consider dear friends, I feel like my extended family of friends is growing by the day. This collaboration with my new Novel Girl friends is one more example of the mystification that life holds about friends. We never know what friendships are waiting to bloom and grow into family. I’m grateful for this opportunity to get to know each of them and share our stories together.



Carolyn McTighe said...

You are very lucky to have been able to have your friends around for such an important moment in your life.I loved what you had to say about your family...I feel the same way.

Maureen Lipinski said...

I'm so jealous that you've met Holly and Katie in person! Hopefully, I'll get to do the same soon!

Jillian Cantor said...

I love that you're still friends with the girls from kindergarten! We're very similar when it comes to friendship -- I was planning on writing about my friend from kindergarten tomorrow!

Lesley Livingston said...

Wow. That's some serious long-term friendship! How very cool.

Tracy Madison said...

Oooh, I love your post today, Lisa! I think it's so great you've had friendships for so long. The only people I still know who knew me when I was in kindergarten are my family. :)

Lisa Patton said...

Thank you, Novel Girls! Yall are very nice to chime in and I'm serious about this - can not wait to meet each and every one of you!!