The Story About the Best Friends on the Train

Shortly after we boarded the train to San Francisco last week, we went to the Café car to get some coffee and breakfast.

We were standing in line, when the girl in front of me tapped the girl in front of her on the back. She turned around, and her face lit up.

“Oh my GOSH!” she shouted. She held out her arms.

They laughed and hugged.

“Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this! Where are you headed?”

“The financial district.” They grabbed each other’s hands.

“Me too!” They hugged again.

And again.

As my daughter said afterwards, “They sure made a scene, Mommy.”

A beautiful scene.

The man at the register waited patiently for them to order. (Though I have to say, I don’t think he minded the wait. He was smiling just as much as everyone else in there was.)

Finally, the girls turned to him.

“This is my BEST friend,” one of them said. She put her arm around the other’s shoulder.

I smiled and fought the lump in my throat.

As they finished ordering, I heard them say, “This is perfect. We can sit together.”

I had to ask, “So you guys didn’t know you were both going to be on the train?”

“We had no idea!” They laughed.

“How long has it been since you’ve seen each other?”

And this is what really got me…

“About six weeks.”

Six weeks?

By the way they acted, I would’ve guessed it had been longer.

“How neat,” I choked, hoping they didn’t notice my watery eyes.

Just then, their food was ready. They got their things, waved to the rest of us in line, and headed out of the Cafe car smiling and laughing.

I stood there, looking at the man ready to take my order, blinking back tears.

Because that might’ve been one of the sweetest encounters of friendship I’ve ever seen.

And it made me think of my own friends.

It made me remember when my friend Jen moved to New Jersey, and how hard we cried when we said goodbye. And how much I miss her.

It made me remember how my heart ached when my friend Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer. And how much her strength and recovery inspired me.

It made me think about my friend Amy and how she and I still laugh about things we did in fourth grade. And all the memories we’ve shared since then.

It made me appreciate all they ways my friends have touched my life…bringing meals over when my kids were born, calling when I was going through something difficult, celebrating birthdays and successes.

And if I had to guess, I’d say those girls I saw on the train probably have a pretty special friendship.

They probably don’t compete with each other.

They’re probably truly happy for one another when something good happens.

They’ve probably seen each other at their worst, and instead of judging or criticizing, have helped each other to pull out of it. And supported each other through it.

Because that’s what friendship is about.

And seeing them that day made me even more grateful for the friends in my own life.

The friends I’d love to run into. Any time.


  1. Your stories always bring tears to my eyes in a good way or give me chills.

  2. Oh, that is lovely. It made me a little teary, too, because my best friend may be moving away to a different state soon…and I have no idea what I’ll do without her. Beautiful story!

  3. I run into friends–close and otherwise–in the strangest of places. This happens to my daughter, too. Last fall she was in the college dining hall, grabbing some lunch. A young man walked up to her and said “I think I know you from somewhere.” He introduced himself. Turns out, he and my daughter were bf/gf in kindergarten. Thought he looked familiar!

  4. I was just thinking I need to drop a note to an old friend. Thanks for keeping me from procrastinating it again. I”m off to do it right now.

  5. This was really moving. I haven’t had a ‘best’ friend in years… and have since given it over to God. Living so far from others and be so secluded in not only location but in beliefs… I am having a hard time finding someone who is anything like me!! But, I think God is just getting me ready for something…or should I say, someone.Many blessings-Amanda

  6. Wonderful story! Girl friends are the best. The greatest thing about good friends is you can be away from them for awhile–6 weeks or 6 months, and it’s like you were never apart. I’m so grateful for my friends. I need them. And thank you Genny for being an amazing friend to me. You’ve affected my life in so many ways. Love you!

  7. What would we do without our friends? This is a sweet story. I think it's wonderful that they have such a close friendship that they can pick up where they left off! BTW, I've got another swim team post today–this is a sweet one, & I thought of you!

  8. Indeed a beautiful moment I’m glad you captured. And I love the pure excitement the girls showed upon seeing one another. Do I communicate that kind of devotion to my friends? Even if it’s only been a few days since I’ve seen them? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. I was so looking forward to this story and as always you made this feel so personal and special. Just like I was there myself. Thank you for taking the time to really take all these moments in. You have a wonderful gift and I am glad to have found you. I love this story. Good friends are such amazing blessings.

  10. Hi! Came across your blog at my friend Becoming Me’s blog! What a great reminder to take the time to continue investing in our friendships. Like everything else, they do take time and effort! Take care, Julie

  11. It sounds like you have some really special friends too.I’ve found it’s harder to make those kinds of friends once you’re not kids or in college any more. We moved (and changed schools) a lot when I was growing up, so I didn’t feel as rooted as a lot of people seem to be. I can say though, that I’m glad that I can always pick up where I left off with the friends I do have (all over the place now). And I’m also blessed to be making new friends along the way even if it is harder!

  12. This post is such perfect timing because I am spending this coming weekend with my best friend in Palm Springs!We both have kids, we live in different states, and running into each other on a train is unlikely, but we are going to spend the weekend hanging out, catching up and reminiscing!!Great, great story!

  13. So sweetly put Genny. I don’t know what I’d do without my best girlfriend. She is the best.Love, Joannep.s. thanks for your sweet comment on my first FaithLifts devotion. I wrote if after you left Starbuck’s last Friday…by the way, I’m treating next time. ;O)

  14. Great story!!! I was just thinking about my best friend and then came to your blog. I will call her tomorrow and let her know how much she is loved.

  15. That is a beautiful story and thank you for sharing this with us!!! Friends are such a special and important part of our lives and I am so blessed to have many.

  16. what a nice storie! it is the dear friends that should truly be cherished! So glad you like your necklace!Kristen

  17. That is the sweetest story. I have a friend that I don’t get to see that often and when we do get to see each other we try to squeeze every moment we can out of our visit. It always ends too quickly. It makes me appreciate her all the more.

  18. I loved your post. I love your blog too! And I love good friends. Your post made me think of all my good friends I have. Life is wonderful with them.

  19. whew, i got choked up just reading about that scene… true! our friends are our treasures…gifts to be rejoiced over!!!

  20. What a sweet moment to see. Friends like this are so rare yet so precious. Thank you for the reminder :)

  21. Mom

    What an eye blurring story Genny. I can’t see what I’m writing right now and you know how we girls are about a good heart touching story!

  22. Oh, I love this story. Thanks for sharing it, Genny!I get to see my BEST friend in a couple weeks. It has been a year. And before that it was almost 3 years. I miss her terribly and wish we could be closer. This is a great reminder to stay close to her in other ways.

  23. This makes me smile with thoughts of my own friends. God has blessed me richly with some of the women who are in my life today and those with whom I’ve lost touch, but were vital for their season in my life.

  24. There are many old friends I’d like to run in to like that!! I was just thinking today of some that are far away but, they were placed in my life at certain times for certain reasons.This sounds very special to have witnessed!

  25. Genny! You won my bag and chocolate give away!! :) Yay! If you click on the Contact me button on the left hand column of my blog you can email me your mailing address so I can get it sent out. :) Hope you enjoy. :)You really have a beautiful blog and I enjoyed this post so much!

  26. This post made me commit to contacting a few close college friends I have not heard from in a few months. Thank you!

  27. boo-hoo…i want to have coffee with my besties…and i have to say good bye to several of them in few days b/c i’m movign! booooooo!

  28. That's sweet, Genny.Actually, YOU are sweet, Genny.I love that you find "lessons" in every day moments. You are a wonderful writer and an inspiring woman. Thanks for the reminder to invest in friendship. :)

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