My husband and I recently went on a cruise for our ten year anniversary, rekindling the flame I guess you could say. While on the cruise we embarked on multiple excursions and meet a colorful range of people and accents. But a group that stuck out the most to me was a party of seven ladies seated on the front row of the last show of the trip.

They were all graciously donning silver strands and atop their strands were fun feathered headbands. I told my husband that I wondered if they were sisters or cousins.

Being the inquisitive and outgoing person I am I concluded what better way to find out than to simply ask; their response shocked me.

They were friends.

All. Seven.

I stared while smiling and asked if I could get their picture. As you can see they obliged.

The lights dimmed and so I hurried to my seat before getting to ask anymore questions.

I sat two rows behind them and watched as the hour long comedy skit proceeded and they looked at each other and laughed and taunted one another. Feather headbands shaking with their laughter. The comedian conversated quite a bit with them and I learned that they had all been friends for quite some time and had raised babies together and gone through losses of spouses together. And though time and states had separated them, they made it a point to try to get together annually.

I observed them with envy.

The generation untainted by social media and societal expectations. Where friendships endured through all seasons and had the strength to go periods without being consistently watered.

Then the envy melted away to hope and then determination.

Who’s to say we can’t have friendships like that today?

Who’s to say I can’t put forth the effort to schedule lunch dates or family dinners?

Who’s to say I can’t offer the empathy to a friend who’s stressed out and spread thin?

It wasn’t that these ladies didn’t each drop the ball at some point; it’s the fact that the others were team players and picked it up.

But they didn’t stop there.

They didn’t roll their eyes, step over her, or exclude her.

They picked their friend up and dusted her off, pushed in where she felt pushed out, picked up some of the slack she felt was strangling her, and because they each loved each other’s spirits more than they disliked the errors due to humanness;

There they sat, all seven beautifully imperfect, but loving perfectly.

Friend goals.