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On Growing Old Friends

by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

The Narrator in Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


There is a quality in an old friend that cannot be replicated. It reminds me of du Maurier’s desired invention. It’s like pulling on a worn and cozy sweater or a pair of soft Italian gloves custom-made for your hands… for your life.

A friend like this knows our creases like no other. We fold together effortlessly even after long lapses of time. Unlike siblings or other family members, we choose them or they choose us. They come without the mess of genetics and family history. They are our best friends, loved ones, and chosen families.

circa 1976It takes a long time to make an old friend. You may not know it when it’s happening, but when you look back, you remember. Oh yes, that was the moment we began.

There is power in having a loving presence that knows who you were. I recently had the privilege of spending time with such a friend. Eight years had lapsed since our last meeting, but we didn’t miss a beat. Friends like this are miraculous.

This friend is the one who knew my father, the truck driver and my mother, the Avon lady. She remembers the night my dad died and she witnessed my mother slip away into a fog of Alzheimer’s. She knows the beauty and the messiness I experienced by being their daughter.

circa 2015She was there for my first day of college rush week and hours upon hours after that. It’s powerful to have a friend who was in both my weddings. For better or worse. Richer or poorer. Through sickness and in health. It is a gift, a tribute, and an honor to have someone love me for over 40 years just because I’m me.

It’s a different yet similar quality to the hilarious and delicious time I recently spent with new friends. They see me for who I am now—a grown person with years of therapy and hard work under my belt. They see the wrinkles of time instead of a fresh-faced girl. But, like that cozy sweater, they have slipped onto my precious being and molded their loving presence to this space and time. Will they become old friends? Only time will tell.

I am grateful for them all, even though sometimes I forget to say so. We are each made up of the people we’ve encountered in life—the ones who’ve stayed and those who’ve gone on. Each carries his or her unique scent and quality.

Today, I invite you to open the bottle and remember one sweet moment with an old friend... or perhaps a new one. 


Postscript: Friendship is truly a magical thing. As I was writing this post, my new friend numerologist Jen Duchene was simultaneously penning her own post: New Friends, True Friends. Her grasp of the power of numbers is phenomenal & helps me appreciate even more this pull of friendship we are experiencing this year. I love it!



If you're interested in creating new friendships or perhaps renewing old ones, consider taking your soul for a stroll with Sharon Richards and me to Paris this May. It's the girlfriend experience of a lifetime. A couple of spots still available. More info here.

Reader Comments (4)

No friend like an old one - unless it's new ones yearning to grow up, grow out, and grow old with you:) xoxo

February 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDianna

Beautiful! :)

February 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPam

True friends come in all shape, size, and variety at ANY time. And sometimes sisters do make the best friends, Dianna. xoxoxo

February 7, 2015 | Registered CommenterKayce S Hughlett

Thank you, Pam!! xo

February 7, 2015 | Registered CommenterKayce S Hughlett

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