A few weekends ago, I spent an evening sitting at the periphery of a rock-and-rollicking conversation among five women. They’re what I call my wife’s “Big Chill Group,” friends who have been close since high school in Pennsylvania more than 40 years ago and still get together for sporadic, self-determined reunions. They came to our house in New York—two of them flying in from Colorado, a third taking the train from Philadelphia and the fourth from Manhattan. The five stayed overnight at our home, then spent the next two days (sans me) on the East End of Long Island, where the Manhattanite and her husband own a second home.

I have to say, I’ve never observed such an evening of continuous “live streaming” of laughter and conversation. I felt privileged to witness this group friendship that has endured the travails of time and distance. I asked one of the comrades what struck her most about the weekend. “These are the people who just get you,” she said. “You don’t need to explain anything.”

More than ever, I’ve come to understand how important is to have such friends. They carry you through life’s rapids; they keep you safe. And what makes it rare and special is that you and your friends get to choose each other. Our families may provide cohesion, but we are born into families. We do not get to choose our relatives, and often as not, we are lucky when we are endowed with good ones.

For me, my long-term friendship with a woman, Andrea Gould-Marks, has now entered a new chapter: She has become a partner with Roel Resources, which now links to her podcast website, Boom Goddess Radio. Andrea and I have been friends through three decades of evolving careers, relationships and her move cross-country. Yep, Andrea just gets me. She’s part of primetime trio of women who, themselves, have a lot to say about friendship, and you can hear them by going to our Boom Goddess Radio tab and clicking the links to their podcasts.

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