30 Then-And-Now Images That Show Beautiful Decades-Long Friendships

Your tribe. Your wolf pack. Your people. Whatever you call them, a woman’s relationship with her best girlfriends is a powerful one.

The strongest relationships often start in childhood — you know, with the nice girl in grade school who shared her pudding pack when you forgot your lunch. And if you’re really lucky, the respect, trust and fun found in these sacred early relationships truly do last forever.

With a little help from our editor-at-large, Rita Wilson, we asked our amazing community of Huff/ Post 50 readers to tell us about their most important relationships : the ones with their lifelong gal chums. We were astounded by the outpouring of stories and photos — over 600 in total. While every long-lasting female relationship deserves special mention, here are just a few of the heartwarming pieces we received from women of all walks of life, but with one thing in common: loyalty and love for their longtime friends.

Bonnie and Joanne, best friends for 60 years

Bonnie Adamick

I literally cannot recollect life without Joanne. Up to now, that is, because she passed away all too soon this past May, only months after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She was my champion in every sense of the word. She never once lost faith in me. Not a day passes that I don’t miss her, think about her and feel grateful for all she devoted to me in our 60 years of friendship. She is irreplaceable. — Bonnie

Donna, Erminia, Norma, Freda, Gerry, Lois and Fran, best friends for over 50 years

Donna Halliday

We are known to friends and family as the BINGO Girls. This is a circle of friends and young mothers who formed a monthly bingo group almost 50 years ago. We support, celebrate, love and — most of all — laugh together through whatever life hurls our style. We are more like sisters than friends and we truly rich one another. — Donna

Sharon, Margy and Caity, best friends for virtually 50 years

Caity Wallace

We did everything together. Through dating, first boyfriends, graduations, going away to college, and eventually moving to different areas of the country.
We lost Sharon 10 years ago to cancer. Since then, Margy and I have gotten much closer, and we both have built changes in our lives we could not have foreseen. We feel Sharon in these endeavors. — Caity

Blanca, Ana Maria and Maria, best friends for over 60 years

Blanca Combas

We have exclaimed together, fretted together and giggled together. I believe that in a good friendship you need to share trust, respect and a good sense of humor for the relationship to last that long. — Blanca

Beverly and Renee, best friends for over 50 years

Beverly Copeland Harrison

As adults we have shared the pleasure of marriages, births, countless holidays and traveling. We have supported one another through adversities like demise, divorce and illness. Now in our fifties, we are both facing our toughest challenge of caring for elderly mothers. Our households still live on the same street and a few years ago we procured ourselves back in the place we grew up, providing care for our mothers. I am so blessed to have this unique bond. — Beverly

Gwen and Judy, best friends for over 60 years

Gwen Chasan

We gained( and lost) husbands, “childrens and” grandchildren. We have long telephone call, helping one another over the crisis and catastrophes, kvelling when it all goes right. We are ever present in each other’s hearts and lives. — Gwen

Janet and Roberta, best friends for virtually 70 years

Janet Valenti

We have always been there for one another. I lost my husband when I was 38. Roberta was always there for me. Today, in our seventies, our bond is as strong today as it was when we were children. — Janet

Janna and Peggy, best friends for 50 years

Janna Wong Healy

We come from different backgrounds, different professions and have very different personalities. But, through it all, we have remained besties. I love her and I’m extremely proud of our friendship, which will no doubt withstood the test of period. — Janna

Judy and Beverly, best friends for over 50 years

Judy Bjornsen

“We havent lived in the same city for 40 years, but we talk each week and ensure one another several times a year. Neither one of us has sisters, but she is more than a sister to me. She is beautiful inside and out! — Judy

Esther and Shirley, best friends for over 75 years

Laura Siegel

“Shes my surrogate sister. We update one another on our families and our lives whenever we speak. We laugh together and we cry together, and we’ve been friends for 76 years! ” — Esther

Linda and Deborah, best friends for virtually 60 years

Linda Murawski

We have gone through every imaginable life experience together. The one constant that has held was that we have always been there for one another whether it was a congrats for something good, a pick-me-up for when we’re down, a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board, a hand when there were health frightens or just someone to say ‘I love you.’ I believe the secret to our friendship is that we always accepted one another as we are — flaws and all. — Linda

Mary, Susan, Jean and Claire, best friends for 50 years

Mary Scalercio

We have been there as a support system as hard decisions required advice: sickness, infidelity, life-changing situations, aging mothers, happy and sad days. When we get together we laugh until we cry or cry until we laugh. We are so grateful to have one another to go through this wonderful life we have! — Mary

Michelle and Marcy, best friends for 55 years

Michelle Wexler

We went to Hebrew school and summer camp together — and got into quite a bit of mischief together. We were bridesmaids at one another bridals. Needless to say, we laugh a lot. Even though we haven’t lived in the same nation since 1983, our shared history — like sisters — maintains us close. — Michelle

Sandy, Gail, Jana, Janet, Susie, Lynette, Kari, Lynn and Teri, best friends for over 50 years

Sandy Lynch

These women have been there to share in my joys and sorrows. They have kept me centered, grounded and reminded me of my roots. They actually know me, my weaknesses, my strengths. They get me like no parent, sibling, husband or infant can. That is the beauty of female relationship. — Sandy

Sharla and Laura, best friends for over 50 years

Laura Miller

I believe we have stood the test of period because we have allowed ourselves to be vulnerable with one another. We are genuinely aroused about each other’s accomplishments and sad for each other’s failings. We have never vied with one another. Friendship is like wedding. You have to put work into it. — Laura

Sheri, Eileen, Kathy, Maryann, Margie, and Maureen, best friends for over 50 years

Sheri L. Mullane

I never had any biological sisters, but these ‘girls’ are my real sisters. We love and respect each other, and we know that each of us would do anything for any of our sisters. I truly love these dames and I could not have built it through all my life’s trials and tribulations without them. — Sheri

Sue and Laurie, best friends for nearly 60 years

Sue Barenholtz

Our mommies were BFFs and so are we. We have a bond that no one or nothing can break and, believe me, we’ve tested it many times in nearly 60 years. “Shes been” my coach-and-four and cheerleader and I have been hers. — Sue

Terri and Deborah, best friends for over 50 years

Deborah Sibley

Weve shared chuckles and tears, insane tries at being cool and questionable date selections, and years of memories that always bring smiles to our faces. Now approaching 60, our friendship was truly evident “when hes” willing to ‘go gray’ together. — Deborah

Terri, Lana, Linda and Patti, best friends for over 55 years

Terri Harrison

Weve been through it all … puberty, boyfriends, college, marriages, kids, divorce, careers, menopause … and now, Social security systems and Medicare! — Terri

Maren, Marlene and Charlyne, best friends for virtually 50 years

Maren Turner

We have survived misfortunes, distance, commotion and relationships that did not work out. They are definitely my girl children and part of my placenta of love and subsistence! — Maren

Ann, Vita, Elise, Mary, Martha and Cherry, best friends for over 50 years

Ann Plunk

We attended school together but after graduation in 1974, we all went off to divide colleges. There were marriages for some of us, graduate school for several, careers, children, and now grandchildren. We reconnected in 2006 for a 50 th birthday celebration, rented a limo, cruised our old haunts and drank champagne! — Ann

Virginia, Aurora, Ana Lidia, Laura, Lorena, Patricia, Ana and Maria, best friends for 40 years

Virginia Galvan

Since the very beginning, we were inseparable. We have watched one another through happy and difficult times. Relationship entails love and acceptance — without judgement and with respect. — Virginia

Janet and Patsy, best friends for 50 years

Janet Martinez

I believe the reason our friendship has lasted this long is because we both have the same integrity, spiritual awareness, and sense of humor. No one else get my humor like Patsy does. As the saying goes, we can finish each other’s’ sentences. — Janet

Millie and Mary Rose, best friends for over 65 years

Kiernan Wilkins

We first met “when hes” fellow students at the University of Akron but I subsequently left town. We kept in contact through letters for many years. In 2002 my husband and I arrived at our new retirement communityand were surprised to determine Millie and her husband living there also. I think of, and love Millie, as the sister I never had. Now, at 88 -years-old, its obvious our friendship has stood the test of period. — Mary Rose

Bano, Tanweer and Rafat, best friends for over 40 years

Saba Haque

Our households migrated from Pakistan in the early 1970 s to New York. They have been through bad times and good times together. When Tanweer became a widow at a young age, both Bano and Rafat were there for her. When Rafat recently became a widow two years ago, both Tanweer and Bano traveled to support her. They were always there for one another and could rely on one another. — Tanweers daughter, Saba

Laura, Robin, Cheryl, Cathy Jo and Karen, best friends for 50 years

Laura Toth Kaiser

We feel that our mothers lasting relationships, our mothers sense of womanhood and relationship, strong Hungarian culture ties, and lots of years of laugh, tears, wine and great desserts contributed to our lasting relationship. — Laura

Alice and Laurice, best friends for 40 years

Alice Kerr

We actually love and want the very best for one another. We are not judgmental towards one another. We are loyal, compassionate, honest, trustworthy and encouraging toward one another. When we talk over the phone or visit, it is all about having fun and enjoying the company of someone who has surpassed being a best friend and is more like a sister. — Alice

Allison and Linda, best friends for 40 years

Allison Quensen Blatt

We share decades of inside gags and familiar stories, and we know one another well enough to readily understand each others current news, fears, and interests. We call ourselves Thelma and Louise, although we intend to stay away from the canyon rim and keep on having adventures! ” — Allison

Janine and Lisa, best friends for over 45 years

Janine Chakir

I personally believe the reason why our friendship has lasted is true love for one another, respect for its own history together, and because we are the only ones who truly know one another — even more than our husbands know us! Whenever we talk on the phone or text it’s like we we’re 15 again, giggling and joking all the time. Its rare to find that and we are very lucky to have one another. — Janine

Cathleen and Denise, best friends for over 50 years

Cathleen Sparrow

Denise is the most caring, giving and nonjudgmental person I know. She has always been there for me through thick and thin — even when I wasn’t there for her. When things are bad, she’s the girlfriend I call and it’s like we’ve never been apart. — Cathleen

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