Judy Same

Most of us value friendship. True friendship, that is. Throughout life, most of us will have only a few really close friends and enduring friendships. Do you agree?

What makes a friendship last?  Is it true that “Threads of friendship never break”?

After you’ve read my story “Judy Same”, I invite you to share with me and other readers your thoughts about what makes a friendship last. A comment section is provided at the end of this post.


I have known “Judy Same” almost my whole life.

“Judy Same” is my oldest friend, and one of my best friends.  When we were growing up, in Rockhampton, she lived over the road from me, with her mother and brother.

My father, always a tease, nicknamed her “Judy Same”.  “How are you, Judy Same?” he would say whenever she came over to our house to play.  I’m not sure whether or not she liked her nickname, but she was always respectful, and giggled politely.  Perhaps she liked the attention my father gave her.

A few weeks ago I told Judy that I was writing a story about her and our friendship and she surprised me by saying: “I still remember when we first met. I even remember what we were doing at the time. I was walking past your place, on my way to visit my aunt, carrying a duffle bag, and you were sitting on the front steps ‘reading’ a magazine.”

Along with Judy’s cousins and a couple of other neighbourhood children, not long after we met, I was invited to Judy’s 5th birthday party. I was 4.

When we were 7 or 8, we paired up in fancy dress as “Two Old World Ladies”.  Fancy Dress Balls were popular social events then.  We looked tremendous (at least we thought so) in our full-length Victorian-style dresses with silver-embroidered mauve netting over mauve satin petticoats, with matching bonnets and gloves. We each carried a fan and wore a black velvet choker. We won prizes at a number of fancy dress competitions in these costumes, which were made by Judy’s aunt.

Judy and I attended the same primary school, but we were never in the same class.  Judy was in the year ahead of me. At school, we had different circles of friends. Outside of school, though, we had some common interests.  We were members of the Brownies and later the Girl Guides. When I was in Year 11 and 12, we played hockey together, in the same team.

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  • 1950s My new friend Judy's birthday party

    At Judy's 5th birthday party: Judy (with bow) is centre; I am behind her (with bow)

  • Two old world ladies, fancy dress costumes

    Judy (right) and I in fancy dress as Two Old World Ladies

  • My friend Judy and I played hockey together

    Judy and I played hockey together in our teens

As time passed, we saw each other less frequently. Judy left school early and obtained a job locally. I completed Year 12 and moved to Brisbane, to further my studies at university.

In the meantime, Judy met Tony. 

Judy and Tony courted for many years.  One month before their wedding, I was at home in Rockhampton on holidays and attended Judy’s 21st birthday party. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend their wedding ceremony, even though I was invited. I was back in Brisbane. It was my final year of undergraduate studies, exams were looming and for this reason (and also because I could not afford it), I decided not return to Rockhampton for their wedding. For many years I regretted this decision.

The following year, at university, I met Tony!

“My Tony”.

“My Tony” and I married 2 years later. Judy and “her Tony” attended our wedding ceremony, in Rockhampton, much to my delight.

So, how’s that? “Judy Same” and “Tony Same”? No, just joking. It’s “Judy and Tony” and “Judy and Tony”.

Introducing each other always goes a bit like this: “Meet our friends Judy and Tony.” People look at us strangely. We quickly add: “No kidding. We’re serious.” When we explain the situation, they always laugh.

It’s long been a source of much jesting and some confusion, even among the four of us. We usually speak of “my Tony” and “your Tony” and “my Judy” and “your Judy”. The truth is that our couple friendship includes lots of to-and-fro banter, puns, innuendo and jokes. This has added an extra dimension to the friendship Judy and I already shared.

Judy is one of the most artistic and creative persons I know. About 17 years ago, when we were both living in Rockhampton, Judy introduced me to card-making. At the time Judy had been making handmade greeting cards for several years, and she cajoled me into taking up the craft. Now, like Judy, I always make my own greeting cards. Over the years I’ve learnt a number of papercraft techniques and gleaned lots of ideas from her. A few years ago Judy came to Brisbane to attend the annual Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo and I accompanied her to the exhibition. Now, that was an eye-opener for me!

I have kept every handmade birthday and Christmas card Judy has given me. It is an inspiring collection. But Judy has given me other lovingly crafted items as well. My Christmas present in 2013 was a 12-page perpetual calendar, each page unique and intricately decorated by hand. Each of these items I possess is a reminder of all that is special about “Judy Same” and our long friendship.

Here are photographs of a selection of Judy’s handmade birthday cards, and Christmas cards, examples of those she has given me over the years. Note that the first Christmas card I have included is one Judy gave me in 1998!

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  • 2001 Birthday card

    2001 Birthday card

  • 2008 Birthday card

    2008 Birthday card

  • 2010 Birthday card

    2010 Birthday card

  • 2011 Birthday card

    2011 Birthday card

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  • 1998 Christmas card

    1998 Christmas card

  • 2004 Christmas card

    2004 Christmas card

  • 2007 Christmas card

    2007 Christmas card

  • 2011 Christmas card

    2011 Christmas card

  • 2014 Christmas card

    2014 Christmas card

One birthday, after I moved to Brisbane in 2003, Judy sent me one of her exquisitely crafted handmade cards in which she wrote, “To dear Judy. Have a wonderful birthday. With love from Tony and Judy.”

Read about what I did with that card. I was a bit naughty!

 As a joke, I decided to keep the card and send it back to Judy for her birthday several months later. The inscription remained unchanged! I’m not sure whether or not she appreciated the joke, but after that I noticed every birthday or Christmas card she sent carried the signature “Love from Judith and Tony”.

 

For another birthday Judy sent me the following handmade card, about friendship. It featured a poem entitled “Threads of friendship never break”. She didn’t compose the words – you can check out their source – but I knew they were sincere, and I was touched by this little token of our long friendship.

Threads of friendship gift card
Threads of friendship gift card

 

There is no doubt: “Judy Same” and I are the best of friends.

But “Judy Same” and I are not the same, in spite of my father’s nickname for Judy and our more recent namesakes.

Judy and “her Tony” are motor sports enthusiasts; they have pursued and excelled at car rally driving. “My Tony” and I know nothing about motor sports. Hockey is our sport. Judy’s Tony is a competent mechanic; “my Tony” knows next to nothing about cars. Music is an integral part of my life; not so for Judy. I would describe Judy’s home décor style as “Arts and Crafts”; mine is more “Minimalist”. Judy loves dogs; I love cats. And so on.

One thing that always amazes me is that Judy has my birthday present and my Christmas present ready – and usually gives them to me – months in advance. When Judy and Tony visited us in Brisbane a few weeks ago (30 September 2015) she gave me my birthday present for 2016 and this year’s Christmas present! Now, anyone who knows me well will be aware that I am an organised person, but I am not that organised!

“Judy Same” and I are not the same. We have some things in common, but there are also differences.  Our personality types are different.  Our life circumstances have been, and continue to be, dissimilar. We chose different work and career paths. We haven’t always lived nearby or even in the same city. Our faith journeys have been different.

My friend Judy and I pictured recently (2015)
My friend Judy and I pictured in September 2015

 


 So, what makes a friendship last? I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. You share a history. You have personal knowledge and share an important part (or parts) of each other’s life. You remember, value and celebrate your shared history, your common story. This leads to Point 2.
  2. You are authentic. There is no pretence. You are known by the other person for who you really are – no better, no worse. Whenever you meet, it’s like you’ve never been apart. You take up where you left off.
  3. You love and respect each other. You stand by that person, no matter what. You are like family.  According to the Scriptures (Proverbs 18:24), “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
  4. You acknowledge the other person’s abilities, talents and passions and celebrate their achievements and successes. You are aware of their inadequacies and weaknesses, but you down-play them; you commiserate with your friend during times of disappointment and failure.
  5. You share important values. You acknowledge and nurture these shared values. Examples are: friendship itself, family (family traditions, family history, family bonds), creativity (the God-given gift of imagining, designing and crafting beautiful objects).
  6. You show a genuine interest in the other person’s passions and activities. You learn from each other. You identify and nurture your common interests.
  7. You share laughter and tears. You share each other’s joys and sorrows. You have fun together. You relax in each other’s company. It’s a therapeutic relationship.
  8. You maintain contact, despite distance and the passing of time. You remember each other’s birthday.  You share each other’s milestone celebrations.

Here’s some timeless advice Polonius gave his adult son Laertes, in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act I Scene III. These words are part of a longer speech by Polonius about how to find true friends and keep them.

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel. … This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Those friends thou hast
So, what do you think makes a friendship last? I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 


UPDATE

May 18, 2016

Recently I celebrated my birthday. Judy gave me another beautifully handcrafted birthday card along with a gift of a hand towel and washer and a little plaque featuring a “Thinking of You” poem. This little plaque is further evidence for the friendship we share. The poem begins with the words: “When I think of you I sometimes feel sad…” You can read the rest of the poem – I have included a copy of it in the slider below.

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  • 2016 Birthday card

    2016 Birthday card

  • 2016 Birthday gift plaque

    2016 Birthday gift plaque

Do you recall that Judy left my birthday card and gift here when she visited in September 2015 (8 months ago)? Not surprisingly, I carefully stowed the parcel in a cupboard. The problem is that I didn’t remember it was there until a couple of days after my birthday. Shame on me. Even though I don’t want to, I will have to tell Judy!

 

16 comments on Judy Same

  1. Marion Kennedy
    November 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm (2 years ago)

    I really enjoyed reading this, Judy. Thank you for sharing it. True friendships are such a precious part of a joyful and fulfilling life.

    Reply
    • Judith Salecich
      November 8, 2015 at 2:43 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, Marion, for your feedback. Yes, true friendships enrich our lives. I’m sure you too have many friends like “Judy Same”, who have blessed your life and continue to do so. Thank you, also, for your continuing friendship, Marion. It is a joy to keep in touch this way. Many blessings, Judy.

  2. Janeen Whiting
    November 9, 2015 at 7:08 am (2 years ago)

    Enjoyed reading your story on threads of friendship. A blessing to have such a friend in your life.

    Janeen

    Reply
    • Judith Salecich
      November 9, 2015 at 9:50 am (2 years ago)

      That’s great, thanks, Janeen. Yes, it is true that I am blessed to have a friend like Judy in my life. People like her are few and far between. But I thank you for continuing to be my friend, despite our distance apart, and much time since we shared in fellowship together. Love, Judy

  3. Lynelle Wallace
    November 9, 2015 at 11:39 am (2 years ago)

    Hi My dear Friend JUDY loved Your Story Friends And The building of Relationships are so important . Loving,Sharing one anothers lives when able and appreciating EACH other for who they and the Amazing Differences we all have are More of Gods Wonderful design .Beleiving in each Sharing in each other Dreams And Weakness such richness of DEPTH S of LOVE SHARED in all experinces in Life in Love I Say LOVE to enjoy Ones Life and It all Comes From GOD .IT saddens Me When People Forget this is the most important thing in ones life is to love and see the Blessings God has Given and Wants Us to follow his examples and Give. love TO show in Action . As you my friend Have Shown me and Am always So Grateful for. Love you and Tony and your Precious children as well and always wil you show me that God was Real.l xox

    Reply
    • Judith Salecich
      November 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm (2 years ago)

      Lynelle, I am so pleased you found this story a blessing. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts about the importance of building strong and healthy relationships in our lives. Thank you too for your love and friendship which has spanned so many years. When we met earlier this year, it was just the same as it was before. So amazing. May God continue to bless and encourage you in all your relationships. Love, Judy

  4. Jennifer Brown
    November 10, 2015 at 10:02 am (2 years ago)

    It was lovely to read of your friendship with Judy. I too have a friend who probably is my oldest friend. We met when Kevin and I were first married and went to our new church in Sydney. We became friends then and even though we do not get to see each other regularly, as she and her husband live in Sydney still, we have managed to catch up over the years by phone and visiting over school holidays. Our children enjoyed each others company when they were younger, but our friendship is really more ours than our kids. As we have more freedom now with family grown, we are able to fly to visit when we can. When we get together its like there has been no time passed and we take up where we left off. Like you say, authenticity is the key to long lasting friendship and I can completely be myself with her and vice versa. We have recently travelled to the states together and it was so lovely to have that extra precious time with her. She is and remains a true and loyal friend.

    Reply
    • Judith Salecich
      November 10, 2015 at 10:59 am (2 years ago)

      Jennifer, thank you for sharing about your special friend, who is also one of your oldest friends. What a privilege it was for you to be able to spend time travelling with her recently – now I know why you went when she asked you! How wonderful. I look forward to catching up with you again soon. Blessings, Judy

  5. Ruth Salecich-Brown
    November 10, 2015 at 10:19 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks Mum for this story. It brings back many memories of our joyous times with Judy and Tony’s family – especially since Uncle Tony always fixed our cars and you had to stay for a long chat, cake and coffee at dropoffs and pick ups!
    As an extension on your 3rd point – Love and Respect – I believe that true love and respect in a friendship is expressed when you truely “listen” to your friend/s. Listening closely not only to the verbal information, but the nonverbals! Not distracted by Facebook, Twitter, TV, children, cooking etc – but really hearing what they are saying and the hiden messages. It enables you to connect more deeply, demonstrate empathy and gain a genuine understanding of your friends life or situation. This is not easy, especially in our time poor society, however it is a key to developing truly long lasting friendships.

    Reply
    • Judith Salecich
      November 10, 2015 at 11:08 am (2 years ago)

      Dear Ruth. I’m so pleased to read that this story brought back so many happy memories for you. Yes, we had regular contact with Judy and Tony when we lived in Rockhampton. Getting the car serviced was a good excuse! Thank you for sharing your carefully considered thoughts to add to “Love and respect” (Point 3). I’m sure your suggestions come from your own learned experience of friends and friendship. I know you are such a good friend to many, a good listener, someone who shows real empathy. God bless you. Love, Mum

  6. Amanda Carson
    February 1, 2016 at 9:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful friendship with Judy and Tony. It is quite remarkable. I had to go back and read the sentence again. I must of read the names wrong, I thought. Your characteristics of friendship are lovely and a gift from God. Love A

    Reply
    • Judith Salecich
      February 1, 2016 at 9:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Amanda. It gave me much pleasure to write this story about my dear friend “Judy” and her husband “Tony”. Life’s funny, isn’t it? But most of all, this story is about friendship, real friendships that last. I’m glad you found the suggestions helpful. Love, Judy

  7. Gwen Papworth
    May 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

    Thankyou so much Judy for writing this story about our friendship with Judy. It brought to mind my friendships with several of my high school friends. We still meet several times a year to catch up and as you say it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been apart, it is as though we met yesterday. I am reminded of my special friendship with Jill who you know also. She is always there for me no matter what and I hope I am for her too. We often don’t have to say or do anything but just knowing the other is there is such a comfort in hard times and a double blessing when good times. I am also reminded of a frame of cross stitch that you gave me some time ago(I still have it) which says ‘The good God gave me my friends’ I treasure our friendship too.

    Reply
  8. Gwen Papworth
    May 27, 2016 at 8:55 pm (1 year ago)

    Sorry Judy, I meant to say your friend.

    Reply
  9. Lorna
    May 25, 2017 at 10:51 pm (6 months ago)

    Judy I enjoyed your story. I have a friend like you. We began school together in prep 1 and went right through to Teachers’ College and are still friends.I will be visiting her soon,,just need to find a break in the diary. Our connection goes back before either of us were aware. Elaine was born before me and her Grandfather met my Grandfatherand asked him to wet the baby’s head. The two men were of German ancestry so felt a connection. P.S. I have Mum’s old Singer under my house.

    Reply
  10. Lyle
    May 26, 2017 at 9:00 pm (6 months ago)

    Jannette, whom you may remember as vice-captain at NRHS in your Junior year, is still very much my friend after almost 60 years, Judy. We see each other in person relatively seldom these days but talk nineteen to the dozen when we do, and keep in good touch by other means. She was my conscience when I felt like slacking in class.

    Reply

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