best friends

 

You might have noticed me mention my best friend before in blog posts but I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to talk about who she is and what she means to me. She will hate this blog post but quite frankly, that’s tough, I’m writing it anyway.

 

I’ve known Jo for years and years, over 30 years at least (OMG), and the unique thing about our friendship is that we met because our mums were best friends from the age of 15 after they met at college. They remained best friends until my mum sadly passed away 10 years ago, so you can see that Jo has always been in my life – firstly because our families were friends, and then we developed a friendship in our own right.

 

We were each others’ bridesmaids and I was pretty distraught when she buggered off to Andover to live with her new husband – very selfish I thought. And so even though we haven’t always lived in the same county as each other, we’ve always been there for each other.

 

Our first jobs were both at the Financial Times and we still recount some of the crazy (and very drunken) nights we had ‘back in the day’ – boys we met, clubs we went to, stupid hairstyles we had … lots of wonderful memories.

 

We have a very similar (stupid) sense of humour and we’re pretty convinced we are going to hell, but at least we will be there together! Invariably, we are single at the same time and it’s been great to share the utter pain and misery that is dating with each other. We’ve been on the cheesiest of hen weekends together, kissed the same man on the same night (although this was a one-off thing I promise) and have been each others’ shoulder to cry on when life has been particularly hard.

 

A few years ago, I went through a very painful and emotional break-up with my ex partner. During our time together, he had managed to isolate me from most of my family and friends but I fought hard to hold onto my friendship with Jo, it was just too important to let go. There was a time when I needed her more than I ever had and that’s when I had to go to court with regards to my ex. It was painful, stressful, emotional and quite frankly the most hideous thing I’ve ever been through, but Jo was at my side every step of the way. I couldn’t have got through it without her. She was an amazing support to me, on that day, and every day since.

 

Everyone needs someone like Jo in their life. Someone that has your back, no matter what. Someone that can make you laugh until you wet yourself, and I’m not even joking (unfortunately it’s an age thing, you’ve been warned), and we just have the type of friendship where I would do anything for her and I know she feels the same. Well, she better feel the same.

 

I’m blessed to be surrounded by awesome women. I’ve made real friends online that have translated into real-life friends, and every day I am reminded that there are incredible women out there doing amazing jobs – whether that’s my friend Pauline (who I’ve never met), who has been so incredibly supportive of her partner coming out as a trans gender woman, my friend Karen who is supporting her husband who has just been diagnosed with cancer, or a whole host of other women who are doing fantastic jobs of raising the next generation of women (and men!)

 

It was International Women’s Day recently and Canesten got in touch with me because they wanted me to talk about an important woman in my life and what they mean to me. I’m not sure I’ve managed to do a good enough job but I hope she at least appreciates the sentiment! Canesten help a lot of women around the world, especially those who are less fortunate than most of us, and are particularly supportive to refugee women affected by the Middle East crisis. You can follow the #SheHelped hashtag for more information.

 

Canesten has very kindly given me a £50 John Lewis voucher to give away as a competition prize and all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling me about a time when another amazing woman has helped you in some way. I’m not looking for an essay, a brief comment will be fine, but it would be great to hear some uplifting stories about fantastic women in your lives.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

To enter, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions and good luck!
kate sutton

 

*  This post has been supported by Canesten, but words are my own.

 

Terms and Conditions for Canesten ‘#SheHelped’ Prize Draw Competition

  1. This Canesten ‘She Helped’ prize draw (“Prize Draw”) opening date is 23rd March 2016 and the closing date for entries is 6th April 2016. 

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randomly within the widget. 

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

Join the Conversation

124 Comments

  1. I joined a local craft group where people who love to do crafts can meet up twice a week to do their crafts with company. When I started going I took along my tapestry, as thet is one of the crafts I enjoy doing and at the craft club I met a lovely lady who makes needle felted sculptures (figures, animals etc) As I have always fancied needle felting, I asked her if she could help me get started and she agreed. So for the next 10 weeks she gradually taught me lots of needle felting skills and noe I make lots of needle felted sculptures in my own time too. It is a lovely group because everyone seems to learn from and teach each other. I have also shown a couple of ladies how to start tapestry and cross-stitching. I love the company too – a really great group!

  2. A 19 year old has inspired me, she is my daughter! Her father and I divorced when she was four yrs old, she witnessed him beating me horribly despite me trying to hide it from her!! At the time when she got straight A’s in her GCSE’s, David Cameron was spouting on about children from divorced parents don’t tend to be high achievers! Wrong!! At 19, she is at a top university, her first set of exams gained her firsts across the board, one of those she was the highest in the year!! So, the woman that inspires me, makes me laugh, makes me proud, the one who understands my emotional moments is the beautiful person that I raised, and despite all odds, she has inspired me! (Sorry, I know you said you didn’t want an essay!)

  3. My friend Bee is my rock! We only met a year ago at a NCT class but she’s been such an amazing friend, having babies at the same time brings you together and many a time she’s reminded me that I’m doing a good job, especially when I feel like a failure. She’s also super funny and makes me laugh on days when things seem bleak. She’s ace!
    Fab post and nice to see female friendship celebrated! Xx

  4. my mum has been a constant inspiration throughout. Battling family loss, ill health and single parenthood. She’s now become an amazing grandmother too x

  5. I met a good friend of mine through walking our dogs years ago a retired head mistress she has taught me so much about the outdoors and how to respect the wild life I now look at life in a whole new way

  6. A former colleague (much younger than me) has been through very difficult times in her own life, but always finds time to be with me. She is such a valued friend.

  7. My granny who I was brought up was my inspiration, I learnt some amazing tips from her
    she was the most caring loyal person I knew and I feel very lucky that I had her to bring me up.
    She was an amazing granny and a fantastic cook she has left me with the most treasured memories.

  8. My friend really inspires me, as she’s battling a terrible condition that has left her completely disabled for the past decade. She fights on everyday and it really is amazing to see x

  9. My Nanna was truly an amazing lady. Having 8 children and losing 3 before herself was enough to bring anyone down but she put her heart and soul into the others and her Grandchildren and always told us about when she was young and how hard life was for her which made us all appreciate what we have today and how lucky we really are x

  10. just amazing to read all of these comments! I have tears in my eyes. We definitely all need a “jo” and I am lucky to have 6 very close Jo’s that are always there no matter what. Us girls ey, we are truly amazing!!

  11. I have to thank my old teacher who taught me to do cross stitch. I hated it back in the day but now I made a panda cushion and now I am teaching my mum who never learnt how to.

  12. My mum who is also my carer. She has battled hard to get me the care i desperately needed. She gave up her life for me but has also taught me so much. I am forever grateful x

  13. One of my primary school teachers who I still see today. Helped me out so much overcoming anxiety issues, and does so much for her local community.

  14. My Aunty Alice was an amazing woman. She wasn’t actually my aunty, she was my step-dads, father’s second wife, so was my step grandma. She thought it would make her sound old if I called her grandma so asked me and my sister to call her Aunty Alice. She had terrible arthritis and could hardly walk but she never complained. She helped me a lot just by talking to me. I never got on with my mother and couldn’t discuss any thing with her. Aunty Alice was kind and listened to my worries. I wasn’t very confident and had no self-esteem but she would make me feel that I was as important as everyone else. I don’t think she ever knew just how much she helped me or how much I loved her and looked forward to seeing her. When I told her I was pregnant, she was over the moon and wrote to me saying she would start knitting and that baby clothes were her favourite things to make. Unfortunately, she died soon after that so never saw my twins. My mum was very upset as we could’t have a funeral because Aunty Alice had donated her body to science! That didn’t upset me as it was such a kind thing for her to do, always thinking about others rather than herself. I miss her.

  15. My husband and myself went through some hard times a couple of years ago, i had a Scottish friend who was with us every step of the way, she has always like a bargain especially if they are reduced, she helped me to fill my freezer and cupboards, alot she paid herself, we honestly never went without with her around. She is a very special person, with the biggest heart i have ever known, never met anybody like her before and dont think i ever will, even now we speak everyday and always asks, are we ok and do we need anything.

  16. My lovely mum Valerie helping me everyday when I had a breakdown in March 2010 they thought I also had dementia . I was in the hospital for two months and took a year to recover. She visited everyday with books clean washing flowers and jigsaws . Thankfully I didn’t have dementia . Now I’m trying g to return the favour as she has stage 3 ovarian cancer and is in and out of hospital . I saw her today and all her hairs fallen out now . I hope she knows I care like she did .

  17. Ahhhh my wee mum…my sister and I were adopted and my mum is the best….I went through a period of drinking far too heavily and my mum stood by me when times were very tough..I’m now twelve years sober and have done well with my teaching career and its mostly down to mum. I am so lucky to have her! The wee soul now has dementia, which is real difficult to watch, but I will always be there for her as she was always there for me…that’s how it works! Thanks for letting me share bout my mum!

  18. my mum stayed at my bedside in hospital for 6 months from 9am till 6 pm every day when i was suffering with anorexia and she was in her 60.s

  19. My mums an amazing woman she had nine of us, she’s 86 now and full of beans and always happy.

  20. What a lovely way of celebrating International Womens Day!

    My grandmother inspires me, she had 8 children, lost one, whilst very very ill with thyroid problems. She was less than 100lbs where she was so ill, yet was a wonderful mother and worked nights to bring in extra income to support them. She’s 84 now, and she’s in better condition to many 60 year olds I’ve seen. She still loves getting dressed up and going out to dinners, will tell anybody off who deserves it and is never afraid to speak her mind. She inspires me because she has so much personality that has never faded even with age, she is an incredibly strong individual.

  21. My Mum is my amazing woman. She hasn’t done anything superhuman or out of the ordinary, but she is always there when I need her and I know I can count on her for anything.

  22. My mother is the type of person who other people other than her children also consider her a mother figure..That’s how lucky and blessed I am…

  23. I met my doula when I was pregnant with my first child and despite barely knowing each other by the time my first child was born she was like another mother to me, so much so she was back by my side when bringing a second life into the world! She erased my fears about birth and being a mother and continues to help other women do the same. It just goes to show there are amazing inspiring women out there you may not even know yet so we should always try and open them into our hearts when we can x

  24. My oldest friend has known me since the day I was born, which is almost 43 years ago!
    We were bridesmaids for each other, are Godmother to each other’s children, have helped each other through divorce, rejoiced together in our new marriages & a lot of things that will never be shared with anyone!
    She’s the one I know will always be there for me no matter what time of day.
    She’s the big sister I never had.

  25. An amazing and inspiring woman in my life was my Grandmother even when she became ill, she had a smile and a joke to tell.

  26. My sister is AMAZING!! Whenever I am down she always knows how to make me feel better, and she ALWAYS dishes out great advice. She is my rock 🙂
    Super giveaway, thank you xx

  27. My mum has done so many things for me, and she amazes me by how strong she remains throughout all of her illnesses. She nearly died a few months ago and is still recovering but no matter how low it makes her feel she doesn’t let it get her down

  28. I met my great friend Lisa by pure chance at an a-ha gig ( we both have excellent taste in music) and we’ve been ‘gig buddies’ ever since. We support each other through life’s ups and downs and are able to contact each other more or less whenever. She’s great with advice and support and has the best sense of humour ever (we both lean to the wicked side lol). We’ve been to a concert together just this weekend and have another one to go to in Paris at the weekend. I just couldn’t imagine my life without her thanks to a shared love of a hot Norwegian band! I’d even share the voucher with herif we were lucky enough to win!!

  29. Wow, you’re very lucky to have a friend like Jo. I met my best friend when we were 12. We have unfortunately spent most of our adult life far away from each other, but are always meeting up, catching up on the phone and helping each other through life.

  30. My mum was an amazing woman in my life, she taught me how to have fun, take nothing for granted and be thankful for everything I had… She always had a laugh even when things were getting her down and always had time to help people who needed it. #StrongWoman

  31. My College teacher Mrs Thompson was the biggest influence on me. She had faith in me and helped me through a very difficult time. I will never forget her and am thankful to her every day

  32. Yes, my mum. I really wanted to breastfeed my son when he was born, but due to medical reasons ended up having to give him formula in bottles at the hospital which was devastating for me. However, we got home my mum came to stay and she had me breastfeeding within 24 hours – something the midwives have failed at. Ill always be grateful for that.

  33. My sister went to university and got her BA and MA aged 67. It just shows you are never to old to achieve your dream.

  34. My good friend Lorraine became my guardian angel when I was diagnosed with cancer (on her birthday too) and not given any life expectancy…she never missed an appointment, she brought a note book and took notes which has later on became invaluable! All my stays in hospital-scans-chemo-radiotherapy, she supported me through it all ❤️

  35. My mam, she’s always there to help me, hug me, love me, listen, care, advise, just whatever I need really. My son is 7 and she’s an amazing grandma 🙂

  36. I had a teacher who made me realize my real potential when no-one else had. I went on to do an Honours Degree and a Masters by thesis which I wouldn’t have done but for the confidence she gave me.

  37. My sister and I have a very similar relationship to you and Jo….she’s always been there for me and we support eachother through the ups and downs of life. She’s been in hospital this week and it’s made me realise how much we need each other!

  38. My best friend Susie has always been there for me and has shown me what a true friend is.

  39. My mum’s amazing. While caring full time for my nan and little sister over the last couple of years, she still always found time for me. She has inspired me to know that I can do anything I set my mind to.

  40. I’m inspired by my mum. She has had 3 major strokes and various other serious health issues, but she is the first person to volunteer to help with fund raising or help anyone out that needs it

  41. I’ve had some great female mentors at work who have given me a lot of support and guidance in my career. Building up these great relationships has obviously helped me massively and actually help me with new opportunities.

  42. My English Teacher, who taught me that it’s fine to love reading and introduced me to some inspiring authors.

  43. my daughter is amazing, she’s been there fore me all the time while I have been in hospital & having treatment

  44. Yes, my grandmother made me a great baker as she baked a lot of cakes for the family events and she let me help her when I was quite young.

  45. I also have a loving and caring friend, Jen .. so many good memories to share. Moments to cry and laugh over. My rock when I was younger and went through a very hard time at home. A friend to cherish forever.

  46. Yes, I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and working with an extraordinary woman who runs an animal sanctuary in Africa. Her love and compassion for both people and animals bowled me over and taught me a lot about my own views and actions.

  47. My mum. She has been going through some hard times recently, but always manages to stay positive. She is always a great inspiration to me.

  48. My gran is always helping me she’s my closest friend and has been amazing with her great grand daughter

  49. My mum is always my inspiration, she is always there for me, my brothers and her grandchildren without condition and without expecting anything in return – even though we do try to spoil her as much as we can. She is so selfless and has sacrificed so much for her family over the years, I can only hope to be half the mum, and person, that she is.

  50. My Mum was the most amazing woman in my life, without her I would not know real love! My Mum was always more to me than just my Mum.. She was my life teacher and most of all my best friend x

  51. It would be my grandma – She is amazing. She is always there to provide cake and tea when having a bad day.

  52. Jo sounds like the most amazing friend, everyone should have one!

    I have been helped by an amazing woman – my mum! When I turned out to be severely disabled and require a high level of care she has continued to do that uncomplainingly and so selflessly – she never puts herself first. She’s amazing and I’d be lost without her

  53. My grannie had an enormous influence on my life. She taught me how to bake, sew, iron. Every girl needs a grannie like mine, if only she were still here to give me advice now I’m an adult.

  54. Yes my mum is like a rock, she has a fearless heart and she was always there for me teaching me great principles and loving me unconditionally!!

  55. My Mums been through such a lot in these last few years. But even during some of her harder times, she’s always been there to support me through my own highs and lows.

  56. My mum is my superwoman, when I became a single first time parent I dont think I would have coped if it wasnt for her

  57. My mum, shes my rock. She has the biggest heart ever and the best Nanny ever to my beautiful babies. Shes helped me so much in my life x

  58. I had a teacher that persuaded me to stay in school and changed the course of my life when I was about 16.

  59. Both my mum and mother in law are amazing in that they help me with my children whenever I ask for help

  60. A group of strong lovely ladies helped me through a rough year in 2013 when I lost not 1 but 2 babies, they are now like sisters to me and have seen me go on to have 2 stunning little boys. Their love and friendship us worth more than their weight in gold

  61. My mum helps me through everything, I was assaulted a few years ago and have suffered from bad anxiety ever since, and she’s always supported me and been there

  62. I had a teacher who told me to pursuit a career in computing back when computer where not available in every house like they are now. I have had a very successful career over the past 25 years from following her advise.

  63. My sister in law is amazing. She holds the whole family together and makes sure everyone else is OK, even when she is battling her own health problems. When both her parents died within 6 months of each other, even though she was the youngest sibling, and a single parent, she took on the role as head of the family. Her daughter is very ill in hospital, many, many miles away from home, yet she visits her everyday and takes care of her 3 other children too. I don’t know how she gets everything done, but she is the strongest woman I have ever known, and secretly – She’s my hero!!!

  64. My best friend, i suffer with bpd and anxiety disorder and she has been their for me through thick and thin for the past 26 years and she always keeps a smile on her face shes an inspiration to me eveyday

  65. The one lady in my life who I think is an inspiration is my best friend – she has nursed her husband through cancer treatment twice. He has also had mental health issues and she has supported him through this. She has continued to work full time and bring up their daughter who is now at University. In addition, she has also offered me support when I have needed it. Such a strong lady and truly an inspiration.

  66. Yes a lady I run a brownie pack with she is an inspiration with her dedication. I hope to be like her.

  67. My best friend she inspires me to be better and yet doesn’t judge when I’m not. She’s there for me through thick and thin.

  68. My four amazing daughters have been there for me during the worst time of my life, the terminal illness and death of my husband.
    I don’t know how I could have possibly coped and where I’d be now if it wasn’t for their unwavering love and support

  69. My Mother was an amazing woman who was always helping me, inspiring me and teaching me. I miss her.

  70. When I started nursing and moved away from home I never felt so lonely. I was just about to quit 6 months in when a new student started and moved into the room opposite mine. We became friends and she persuaded me to continue the course. My friend unfortunately died a few years ago but I will always be grateful to her for encouraging me to stick with the course. I have been a nurse for over 30 years and love it so much xx

  71. Has to be my wife who has been there through thick and thin for me over the last 30 years.

  72. It’s as simple as after I had my daughter I really suffered with ptsd and someone I met online really helped me through it. She then became my best friend 🙂

  73. My friend Lesley is a Stampin Up demonstrator and teaches cardmaking. I am having chemotherapy at present and last week she invited me to make some cards which provided some company and much needed therapy. It mad a rough day so much better!

  74. I have a friend who now lives the other side of the world but has always been amazingly supportive to me

  75. My mum and my grandma raised me into the person I am today, and showed me to always bring fun and kindness into everything I do 🙂

  76. our son aron is 1 yr old hes a twin and he has an inoperable tumor there is a lady called lucy hill that works for a charity called clic sergent she has been an absolute god send to our family sorting paperwork helping us get grants evne helping with letters and everything without this great lady we would have struggled she deserves a knighthood

  77. My mother in law the first time we had an argument, to her son, I don’t know what you have argued about, but Daphne is right, I loved her so much.

  78. My grandmother Bridie was an amazing woman she was so kind and patient with me and taught me lots of things including baking, sewing, knitting – she gave me the basic skills and had the patience to develop my skills with me they are all things I still love doing and I am always asked who taught me as my mother would even say she is no good at any of these things at all.

  79. My mother and grandmother are my biggest inspirations. Two generations of women whose ideals and morals helped shape me into the person I am today. Their stoicism, warm natures, and sense of humour showed that life can tackled with positivity and verve, no matter the situation, with plenty of smiles and laughter along the way 🙂

  80. My bff friend Caroline and I met through our older daughters 10 years ago. Despite having an autistic son with lots of specialist needs she is always there for me whenever I need her and vice versa. It’s her 4th on 1st May so I would love to win the vouchers for her.

  81. My friend Denise who I met at Ante Natal classes is always on hand to answer my silly questions and support me as a mum

  82. My nan. She’s always there for me. She lives at the other side of the country so we don’t see each other much but she is always there with a kind word and love x

  83. We had a talk at a conference once by this really amazing woman who talked to us about life, her ups and downs and everything that shaped her to be the person she is. Really inspirational and she inspired me to choose a certain career path today!

  84. My sister..we’re so similar it’s uncanny, even though she’s blonde and tall and I’m short and dark! We make each other laugh all the time. She’s helped me through sad times and been there during the best times. It’s great having a sister.

  85. my mum shes wonderwoman from the seconf i told her i was pregnant she started savding up i did not no then when i was busy haveing my baby she was busy filling my fridge freezer wardrobes bathroom with more shoping than iv ever seen i cryed it wwas sich a thoughtfull thing to do and ots something i will do gor my daughter when time comes

  86. Dr Amanda Tristram is a gynae oncologist at Cardiff. She saved my mom’s life with her skill after mom was diagnosed with a rare gynae cancer. Amanda is a brilliant, intelligent and personable doctor. I take every opportunity to blow her trumpet, cos I owe her everything for giving me my mom back x

  87. I was on the bus one day and felt really faint, a total stranger, a lady brought me home. So glad she did, thank you whoever you are.

  88. My mum and Grandma who instilled in me the values that I hold today and have, hopefully passed onto my own children.

  89. My mum is an amazing woman and has helped me out a lot in the past and will always be there for me x

  90. my mum, moved in with me 4 months ago when I had my twin babies. still here doing all the housework, cleaning, feeding babies day and night. she is my rock

  91. Being helped by other members of the cycling club when I first started and then learning how to ride with a group

  92. My Nan was my inspiration. She had a tough life in many ways but was so lovely to everyone she met, wickedly funny & generous to a fault. If I had a tiny bit of her resilience I’d be happy

  93. I found a lovely group of ladies in a forum after I had a miscarriage 3 years ago. I still speak to most of them daily x

  94. My mom raised the 3 of us after our dad died when we were young, she held down 2 jobs, always had a meal ready when we came back from school and always had time for us no matter what! Such an inspiration, I know I couldn’t do it

  95. My mum was an inspiration to me, she worked so hard bringing us four kids up, working sometimes 2 jobs at a time, whilst my dad worked away during the week, I don’t know how she did it, then when we all left home, she went onto college and qualified as a chef, something she’d always wanted to do, I wish I was half the woman she is x

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