What is a friend?

January 31, 2014 at 2:05 am Leave a comment

Carolyn in Drayton

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines friend, first, as

a person whom one enjoys mutual  affection and regard.

A friend can also be a sympathizer, ally or supporter of cause. For today, I’m going with the first meaning.

I have been fortunate to have many friends, those who have been connected to my life at different times and places, and especially those whose friendship lasts through years, with whom we can pick up days, months or a half year later as though one of us had just gone on a trip and come back to tell the tales of the journey. I have friends for whom this is true, including those across city or country from me, miles away down the expressway, or a thousand miles away. It matters not what the distance is, only the connection between us. Friends who share confidences and struggles. Those who listen and pray for us when we’re having a rough time, and for whom we do the same.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Elbert Hubbard

I’ve had friends in many ages and stations of life. We do not need to be alike; it’s good to understand another person’s preference and not to insist on everyone else being like us but to find the qualities that make us connect. I have friends who are artists, writers, coaches and teachers. I have friends who are gardeners, editors and parents.

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
Albert Camus

Rachel and Annie                                                                                                                                                           Annie and her daugher, Rachel

Today I commemorate a friend who died this week, while I also remember Annie (shown in picture above) to whom I said goodbye in 2013. Each one with different but endearing qualities, one whom I have known from childhood until now, the other for years. But they are not the only two friends who have died, just the most recent. As Christians, we look forward to being reunited some day in the future.  What a reunion that will be! Yet for now, it’s an aching feeling that describes the loss.

Gayleen and Frank, 25th anniversary - Copy                                                                                                                                                           Gayleen

I was told today that my name was a frequent word out of my friend’s mouth. Her family knew the value of our friendship to each other. It felt good to be remembered that way. And likewise she’s been a special person in my life— from childhood on.

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Jess C. Scott, The Intern

Note also the sentiment of A. A. Milne, author of Winnie-the Pooh:

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.

A friend can make you rich, not in the monetary sense, but from a richness of character and quality. Find one, cultivate the friendship, keep it. You’ll know when you have to say “good-bye” that it’s been worth the effort.


Entry filed under: authors, blogs, friendship, lifestyle, photography, storytelling. Tags: , , .

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