July 6, 2004

Friendship. That word is so weighted that very likely no two people describe it in the same way.

Let me tell you what it means to me. Friendship means, that next to the life of my spouse (my best friend of all), I’d lay down anything and everything for someone who is a friend. Friendship is akin to Family. Friendship to me is not a word I take lightly. It’s not something that I use in casual conversation, like many people say “Oh yeah, this friend of mine…” or “I have this friend who…” To me, I say, “I know someone who…” Because unless I know this person enough to want to give of anything that I have for them then I can’t call them a friend. To me friendships go extremely deep. I don’t share things with folks (yeah, I know this blog seems like a contradiction but if you really want to know who “I” am, there’s only a few people living that can tell you, because what I share in public is no where near what is really going on deep down.) Suffice it to say that in my life I’ve had many people who ‘think’ they know me, (and the one’s who try to peg me by some ridiculous star chart are in for an even ruder surprise because not once in my life has anyone ever guessed my ‘astrology’ sign) but there are only a handful of people out there that could honestly tell you what I’m made of. What my ‘character’ really is. I can count them on both hands as a matter of fact. They know my faults almost as well as I do.

Friends are the kind of people who invest back in you and invest whole-heartedly. They know these ‘faults’ and while they accept them, they don’t let you rest on them. That person above who says, “Oh, yeah, this friend of mine…” would never sit down with ‘this friend of mine’ and say, “What you did last night was a real disappointment to me. You owe me an apology.” If they did, they’d find out very quickly that ‘this friend of mine’ is really ‘that guy that I hang out with at times…or used to.’ Most people use the term friend when they actually mean aquaintance.

Why the brainstorm about friends? Heck, I have no idea. I’m just fortunate enough to realize that I have some great ones. Some friends who have my back, no matter what I do. They may think it was stupid (and if they’re my friend, they’ll know they can TELL me it was stupid) but they’ll still help me muddle through anything. Indiana is a long way away. China even further. But that bond of friendship knows no earthly boundary. No sea. No mountain. Nothing can stand between it.

That is one of the legacies I want to take with me to my grave (whenever it may come.) My job? My career? Those are fleeting. Friendships. That’s one of the true lasting treasures of life.