Love through life

Nyree Johnson and Tanya Paul, when friendship exudes on stage. Picture: Supplied.

Having recently dedicated my allotted television time to the Netflix series Firefly Lane, it reminded me of the importance of storytelling between generations.

When I first saw my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents as adults and not just as the people who cared for me, I realised they had an entire life and story before I arrived.

They have friends I have never met, thoughts I couldn’t even imagine and histories it would take me a lifetime to hear.

Listening to the stories, happy moments, near misses and lessons learnt means that a portion of the experience I wasn’t present for imprints on me.

Nathan and I recently had a euphoric moment when our two eldest children were simultaneously interested in our life before arrival.

While I could see it for what it was – an escape from bedtime – it was engaging.

A walk down memory lane in sharing a lifetime (well, 23 years) of togetherness, adventures, heartache and aspirations for our children.

With eyes wide and a cautious question, the two children discovered that our ambitions for them were simple; to be happy and kind.

Firefly Lane tells the story of two young girls who grew up in the 70s and 80s.

They were inseparable best friends—the kinds of friendship where you ‘get’ each other and are supported, no matter what.

Fond memories came to me of my high school friend, Erin.

Erin and I spent a few years together herein Rockhampton at Emmaus, then living in Brisbane at almost the same time as each other, and both of us are back home in Rockhampton again.

While life happens and we each walk a path with our own family, we know that every time we text or catch up, it’s like we were only speaking yesterday.

The message my aunt shared with me as a teenager, and the same one I share with my children, is that friendship is about quality, not quantity.

When you find those people who ‘get’ you, cherish them.

And if you grow apart on this life journey, while it can be hard, be thankful for the moments and the memories.

Thanks to moving out of the awkward adolescent stage and into adulthood with my one friend, it has been a rewarding experience making friends as an adult.

With life experience and personal values known and without the confusion caused by puberty, making friends as an adult is a different but amazing experience, for me at least.

While I often refer to ‘my friend at work; my friend at Scouts’, or ‘my friend at Zonta’, for example, I use that word loosely because ‘acquaintance’ is awkward and ‘a person I know’ is dismissive.

Whether they wanted to be or not, I consider everyone in my circle a friend, and I like to think that if someone needed a friend amongst the circles I swan in, I might be a good choice.

While I’m lucky to have some fantastic friends I’ve met as an adult, one has stood the test of time, and we’ve created that unique connection that only the best of friends have.

Living thousands of kilometres apart is hard, but I know that if Christina and I lived closer, neither of us would get anything done because we’d be too busy solving the world’s problems together.

I’m lucky to have two Firefly Lane girls, one from school and one from adulthood.

Sharing stories with each other, particularly with our children, is how we connect and relate.

While I won’t share why the television series ended with written storytelling (in case you haven’t watched it yet and want to), I encourage you to find those moments with family and friends to deepen the connection, share, and love through life.