Growing up I remember having a lot of friends; most of them were my neighbors and kids from school. Shortly after my parents divorced, my Mother, sister and I moved to Seville, Spain; where I lived for four years of my young life. I still remember bits and pieces of the friends that I made in school during those years. Nowadays, thanks to social online platforms such as Facebook, I've been able to reconnect with some of my old Spanish classmates from way back when. It is nice to see their pictures, see how everyone is doing and play catch up every now and then. But when I think about friends and friendship, there is so much more than that.
Building Friendships for Life
I know this may sound crazy but I've had the same friends my entire life. My high school friends later became my college friends and, for some reason, we managed to stay connected through the good times and the bad times. Take my friend Marie, for example; I've known her even before I met my sister, Lisa. Enrico and my brother-in-law call her the other Goyco sister. The best part of it all is that three of my best friends from high school ended up moving to the city of Chicago. Talk about being lucky!
Take my friend Khadine, our Ay Mama! Sunday blogger, we were neighbors in Puerto Rico and, for some cosmic reason, she ended up marrying a guy from Naperville and also ended up in Chicago. My sister, Lisa, who happens to be one of my best friends too, moved to Chicago right after college. So, you see, I've been such a lucky girl, since moving from Puerto Rico to Chicago was like moving to my home away from home.
My friend Ana, another Puerto Rican turned Chicagoan, used to be Enrico's good friend from high school until I decided to steal her from him. Ana, too, graduated from the same high school we all graduated from. As you can imagine, the joke has always been So there is only one school in PR and it happens to be Catholic? Talk about a devoted country! Well, not really, it just happens to be that half of my very good friends and I, ended up in the same city.
During the ten years we lived in the city of Chicago, we met wonderful people including my girlfriends Diana, Lucille, Sarah and Amy. Even though I met them just the other day compared to over twenty-five years of friendship with my other girlfriends; they rapidly became my sisters, my loyal friends, my family.
I also have the soul sisters that I left in Puerto Rico, whom I get to see only once a year but always communicate over the phone and via Facebook. The amazing part about my friends Mariela, Reini and Zoribel is that it doesn't seem we've been living apart for over ten years, since every time we see each other feels like we never parted from the island.
As you can imagine, it was very tough for me to leave Chicago when Enrico got transferred to Indianapolis; I was not only leaving an amazing city, I was leaving my home away from home, I was leaving my friends, my family. The first year away was difficult, I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Even though my friends were not physically here, we would make phone dates with a glass of red wine and Alejandro Sanz music in the background (some vino and Alejandro always does the trick!) They all helped me tremendously throughout my first transitional year. Again, my friends are the absolute best!
I knew I had to befriend new people in our new home, but that doesn't just happen overnight. With the help of my kids and the Fishers YMCA, I was able to meet other people through play dates and spinning classes. I can firmly say that, after one year, I have met a great deal of people in the Indy area, whom could potentially become friends for life. These new friends opened their homes and their lives to the new kids in town and received us with opened arms. See, it doesn't matter where we go, developing good friendships is key. When you live away from your immediate family, your circle of friends becomes your family.
A couple of months ago, I heard my daughter Lucia call my new Indy friend, Frances, Auntie Frances. That day I suddenly felt right at home. Ay Mama!
For today's recipe: A Toast to Friendship with a cocktail recipe that a friend shared with me; Pink Lady Martini. Salud!
-0.5 oz. Vodka Absolut Kurant
-0.25 oz. Malibu
-0.25 oz. Midori
-Dash of Grenadine
-1 part Lemonade
Method: (shaken nor stirred!)
Fill a martini glass with ice and top 3/4 full with lemonade. Shake together the Absolut, Malibu, Midori and Grenadine so that it floats on top of the lemonade.