Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Friendship

This story was sent to me by Ali, from Canada, I think:

“According to my dad, the greatest life lesson is friendship. Not truth or honesty or the golden rule or anything else that the majority of people think is the most sacred, but friendship. That’s not to say those others aren’t extremely important as well, but a great friendship is actually built on those lessons.

As far back as I can remember my Dad has reiterated to me the importance of friendship. The first time I can actually remember him seriously talking to me about it I was about 8 years old. He described to me how it’s important to have friends, because those relationships are gifts, and a good friend will always be there for you. Young as I was, he described it to me in such a way that I knew that it was a big deal.

He told me that friends are one of life’s greatest gifts, and that they should always be treated as you yourself would like to be treated. He said that there are people in life that you have to be willing to go out of your way for, and that those people will be there for you should you need them, just as you must be there for them. At the end of that first conversation, I remember him talking about Monica, my best friend. “Monica is one of the good ones babe, friends like that don’t come along very often,” and I knew, then and there, that he was right.

My dad has a hard time putting into words what it means for him to have the friendships that he does. In fact, when we were talking about this whole thing, he was choked up and unable to look me in the eye or find the right words to explain it. But the lesson of friendship has been proven to me time and again, through events that have taken place in both of our lives.

When his mother was losing her battle with cancer, his best friend showed up at the hospital without being asked, and was actually in the room with my parents when my grandma took her last breath. Many others would have shied away from a situation like that, but my dad’s friend knew that he needed him, so was there no questions asked.

More recently in my life, it has come to light that I may not be able to carry a child. After some thought, my best friend has offered to carry a baby for me, should it be decided upon that my body just can’t do it. For me, there is no greater gift; it’s like her offering part of her life for me.

But the reverse is also true, if she were to call me tomorrow, and for whatever reason needed me, I would be on a plane in a heartbeat, because when she needs me, I go, just as my dad would for any one of his friends.

The older I get, the more I understand why my dad feels so strongly about his friendships, and chose to instill that same importance in me. Your family should always be there, but your friendships have chosen you. For whatever reason, you were brought together with someone, it’s inexplicable, but it should be treasured. As much as I wish that my dad could be with me throughout my entire life, I know that when he is gone, my best friend will be here beside me, like he always said she would be.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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