Never take a friend for granted. We aren't gifted with many real ones in life and when they come along, we have to step back and just be still with the realization of what happens in the relationship and be at peace with it!! This is Allison and me when I still thought that short hair was who I "needed" to be to be 'proper'. Then I would have been acceptable that my hair was 'age appropriate' - really!! Allison and I met years ago and then remet and got to know one another - we trained together, laughed and talked and planned and lived with DARE to AFFIRM - shared common interests - and now share a friendship that comes of knowledge and familiarity with LIFE and memories as our commonality. Just to acknowledge APPRECIATION for this. Why this and why now? Maybe it is a comparison that led to this appreciation - the other night, I needed to hear a friend's voice for comfort - for reassurance - and I called another. She didn't answer and didn't call back. The next day, I got a 'coach/cheerleader' email that told me that she was there in the virtual world and IF we had talked, this is what she would have said. Thanked her for the words BUT said what I really wanted/needed was the minutes of friend time and a voice. I asked her to share how she defines friend/friendship?!? I suppose I could ask that of many others - a survey - but I know in my heart how I think of it - and yes, I have been told that I have unrealistic expectations - but geeeeeeeez I am human!! Technology can easily get in the way of real time caring or at least voice contact on the phone! Maybe I am getting older - but I totally appreciate and value the contact of my friends and family!! Happy Holidays!!!