As the years pass, the importance of our OLD friends becomes clear. These would be the friends who knew you back when.
Being older myself, my truly OLD friends have been my friends for thirty or forty or fifty or even sixty years. They knew me and I knew them when both of us were still a “work in progress.” The cake was not yet baked.
These OLD friends were the ones we did things with. We sang in the high school choral group, played softball then coached our own children, prepared gourmet meals, or took camping trips. We always had fun!
There were other times that were not much fun when we did things for each other. Many of these things often happen only when a real friend steps in. Examples could include providing an empathic ear when a job is lost or helping with arrangements for the funeral of a loved one. They shared the heavy load life gives us from time to time.
Most of us have new friends, too. These would be people we met in the past few years or months. We may meet in a community theater group or while volunteering with a non-profit organization. They might be neighbors met in our retirement community.
New friends are nice to have. We don’t negotiate the terms of our relationship with these new friends; there is just a tacit understanding. We both know who our OLD friends are or were (if they are deceased). We both know those cannot be replaced and no effort to do so would be successful or appreciated. New friendships don’t have enough time to grow as deep and rich.
For a song that nicely summarizes what OLD friends mean, please listen to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chBNBzE35EI
Personal note: My old friends know who they are. They mean more to me than I can ever have them understand; they have my admiration, appreciation and love.