Image                  truly great friends

When you marry or partner up for life, you collect memories along the way of a whole new story, sometimes radically different from your own and after years of hearing those treasured memories which belong uniquely to your husband, wife or partner’s childhood and growing up years, you begin to relay those stories yourself to others along the way because you know them so well…

This is the case with me and my hubby and his story of the friends he bought to me, the stories from Elm Street.

We belong to the second generation of Elm Street, the first being our parents who settled there and raised their children. My husband is one of those children and the eldest of six of one of the families who grew up on this unique street. Alongside his house were other houses full of children who would become lifelong friends of my husband and I.  These were days where the children would be down the end of the street in their mate’s houses or playing footy or cricket in the street for hours on end and only came inside when dinner was served, usually at someone else’s home.  When I arrived on the scene, these friendships were already very solid and the memories of New Year’s Eve parties thrown by the parents of Elm Street were of legendary quality, parties which were talked about for decades after.

The bonds which were forged between the families of Elm Street are a tribute to the wonderful group of people that they are and I witnessed again, yesterday the incredible closeness of this group of mates who will forever have each other’s backs. The fitting motto which was placed on the wall hung in full view of everyone in the hall yesterday said it all “You’ll never walk alone”

Over the years, our generation has grown up, had families of their own, moved away and some have lost contact.  Some of our wonderful parents have passed on now including my own dear mother in law who I miss each and every day, but even more tragic is the realisation that the next generation is beginning to be separated through illness much, much earlier than any of us expected.

Earlier this year we all attended the funeral of a very fine young man, far too young to be taken from his loved ones. Our hearts broke seeing the pain this family was in and still are in trying to make sense of it all. Over 24 years of being friends by association to this amazing group of individuals I have forged lifelong friendships of my own with this group and our hearts are aching again as one of our closest is slipping away from us. Yesterday we attended a fundraiser for this family whom everyone adores; just as they all do with each of the families who came from Elm Street.

To watch this group through the eyes of someone who did not live those early days, but learned over years of the legendary stories and joined in on many of the parties once I was inducted through marrying, I have since forged some incredibly special friendships of my own with this group of wonderful people.

I have heard my husband say many times, he had the best childhood because of these people and although they never had much, he would not change it for all the money in the world.  Watching him and others from Elm Street all console each other yesterday who were bought together through the saddest of circumstances but vow to honour solidly one of their own was truly inspiring, and I was incredibly humbled to witness it.

I guess as time moves on, and we all become older, the inevitable will happen and this group will begin to shrink.  The Elm Street spirit will then live on in the lives of the third generation  who already connect through their parents and grandparents before them. But no matter how small this group becomes, the hearts & love from the Elm Street friendships will never diminish as they have forged a lifelong connection which I witnessed yesterday & know will never be broken.