You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

The friend who hung on

A wiser woman than I taught me the value of staying in touch, despite life’s twists.

SOMETIMES IT’S EASIER TO LET GO of friendships than to hang on. Thank goodness not everyone takes the easy way out. My friend Renee is a “hanger-on-er.” Not only does she have the endearing ability to cultivate friendships wherever she goes, she also hangs onto her friends for life. I, on the other hand, am pretty practiced at letting go.

Two decades ago, Renee and I were neighbors in a Boston suburb where backyards blend together and front doors are only for show. We enjoyed the easy camaraderie that arises from proximity — we showed up on each other’s doorsteps looking for butter or Band-Aids or lawn-mower gas; after a time, we joined up for dog walks, a glass of wine, neighborhood news. We shared, in small increments, the stories and details of our lives. I got to know, vicariously, her extended family, and she got to know mine. We came to be part of the fabric of each other’s lives, the way those who share small intimacies do. Did I appreciate how valuable this effortless friendship was? Of course not.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week