Friday, January 8, 2010

The Best List Part III

For much of 2009, I was involved in talking to women about friendship. I heard many heart-warming stories. Some produced enormous surprise; many were the comforting and reassuring memories of how we connect as little girls.

Like the snowflakes flurrying about me, no two stories were alike. I had selected the topic after finding my own first pal. We had been separated for years and years. It would have been wonderful to have shared our lives all these years--but we are overjoyed at reconnecting. There was so much to get caught up on. It was just mind-bending. It was gratifying to tell our story in the book, My First Best Friend.

"Can it be," I asked myself, "that no one has ever done such a book before?" Yes, there have been books about women's friendships--and very good and inspiring ones. But no one had focused on that "first." I heard so many more stories than I was able to put into the book. I was pleased with how many women gave of their time and their precious memories--wanting to let the world know just how much that special friend meant and still does, so often.

Early on in the blog, I shared the cover. Well, that was then. One fine day, I was presented with an even better one, I believe, which is displayed here. What I like most are the pictures of the little pals. I adore how we held our hands before the camera, and how even in old photos love shines through.

There are several reasons why I pick My First Best Friend as being a best of 2009. First, accomplishing something as worthy as I believe this to be is always a moment of intense satisfaction. Second, it was a privilege to be invited into intimate worlds with such generosity of spirit. And third, I am able to share with readers something that is honest and pure.

I am not going to ask you to share your first best friend story now, as I have plans to do that at a future date on a web site for the book (a project for 2010). But I do hope you take this opportunity to embrace such a friend. It might be your sister's friend, or even your mom's, that "auntie" who loved you a bunch, too. But I hope that I can count on your to become ambassadors of "first best friends"--and make this wonderful relationship a best of many years to come.


  1. Oh, I loved this post. And your book cover is adorable. It reminds me of my first best friend. Friends are such a gift. As I read your words, my mind wandered back many years to those special times.


  2. My first best friend was Judy. Her mom was leaving the hospital after having given birth to Judy and her twin, Jack. My mom was going into the hospital to have me. We lived across the street from each other. What fun we had playing hide and see and softball in the street, then walking to school together when we started kindergarten. Jack was my first crush. I haven't seen Judy in at least 30 years, but we still keep contact every year at Christmas.

  3. Dear Nancy, I have enjoyed your journal and the postings by others so much. I do have a "best childhood friendship" that has endured for over fifty years, but I will keep it until later.

    I want to thank you for the wonderful gift you gave all of us when you shared your wonderful thoughts about Leslie Caron. Since I live in a small town, I wasn't able to find her book. We took a trip to Nashville over New Years and I went to Barnes and Noble. I can't even begin to explain how touched I am by reading "Thank Heaven." I have cried, laughed, and reread her words giving us a window into her world. How special it was to see her acknowledge you as her friend. Her book now joins my collection of treasured literature. Thank you!

  4. I have watched my mother and her best friend nurture a friendship that has endured for 70 years. It has been a pleasure to observe these two women, who met in high school, grow and change together.

    My own best friend from childhood was a neighbor, the girl who lived over a small market on the next block. I could talk to her about things no other friend cared about. We'd sit on the little hill behind my house as the sun set and share our dreams for the future. Sadly, we have lost touch, but our friendship lives on in my memory.

    My closest friend ever was actually a male and our friendship endured for nearly a decade. We lost touch, but Internet technology enabled us to reconnect recently. I was interesting to learn that we shared some parallel experiences.


  5. Hello Nancy!-I love the look of the cover on your new book & am looking so forward to reading it.I've been reading each night in a Victoria magazine-love reading them all,esp the older issues from 1988-2001.Anyway, speaking of books about Women and friendships-I was trying to locate one that I saw advertised in a Victoria magazine called "On Women& Friendships"-I was looking for it on Amazon & no luck finding it-{out of print},but a book of interest to me came up that I thought you might enjoy also!-{if you havn't read it already},that is...

    It is called "The Girls from Ames",a story of women & a 40 year friendship",by Jeffry Z --I couldn't help but wonder if you might be one of these gals mentioned in the book,as aren't you from Ames,Iowa? Just thought I would tell you about it.- Love,Valery

  6. Of all the nice things about living in Ames, IA, inspiring friendly thoughts must be among them. Last spring, "The Girls from Ames" was published. Most of the work on my book was well underway when this very good and inspiring book
    came out in April. I did not, however, grow up in Ames and I am not one of the women profiled in the book. Although, who would not want to be in this group of devoted friends?

    It was the joy of reuniting with my first best friend from growing-up-days in Connecticut that kindled my interest in how women's friendships begin and flourish. I have always been a devotee of women's friendships as my years at Victoria so well illustrate. And here was one important aspect of women's friendships that seems to have been taken for granted.

    The stories I am privileged to relate in my book cover women of all ages from all over the country. I guess as great as Ames is, it doesn't have a monopoly in fostering the ties that bind women together from the very earliest of ages.

    By the way,some years ago there was another book about growing up in Ames called "Blooming," by Susan Allen Toth. Yet another reason to associate this Midwestern university town with being an "ideal" place to grow up. We moved to Ames when my husband began work at the university--and the growing up experience there was had by our son. He thinks it was-and is-a pretty wonderful place.

  7. Nancy, I'm so excited to read your new book! The little girls on the cover are just darling, and who wouldn't be drawn back in time to memories of the very friendships you write of. The thing I look forward to now is photographing my first granddaughter as she steps through these wonderful times in her life. Vicki