A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch on a hot, humid day, sipping iced tea with his father.
As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his son.
“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as you get older.”
“Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them.”
“What strange advice!” Thought the young man. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.”
Yet he obeyed his father. He kept in touch with his friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father knew what he was talking about. Inasmuch as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends were the bulwarks of his life.
After 77 years of life, here is what he learned:
Life goes on.
Children grow up and become independent; it breaks the parents’ hearts, but the children become separated from the parents. (not always, but many do)
Jobs come and go.
Illusions, desires, attraction, sex … weaken.
People do not do what they should do.
The heart breaks.
The parents die.
Colleagues forget the favors.
The races are over.
But true friends are always there, no matter how many miles away they are or for how long. A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or blessing your life.
When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, and keep a group of good friends too.
You might send this to your friends (even those you seldom see) who help make sense of your life … I just did.