I grew up knowing the 3 ladies in this picture - one is my Mama and her two closest friends since they were kids. They all saw each other from first grade, boyfriends, weddings, losing husbands, bad and good health - including the ups and downs in between.
Theirs has not been smooth sailing all the way. They had their little spats too, sometimes lasting a few months. But they all come back together. They are each others staunchest allies and worst critics. But they would never back out from each other.
They taught me this: friends make room for you to grow. And true friends allow you grow apart from them, but know when to reel you back in.