Two good friends of ours leave next wednesday. It saddens me particularly when I realize the rarity of true friendships....
Friendship is easy when things are good. To go out to eat with, to watch a movie or play a sport with.....
But a friend lives up to its definition, not in those times.... but in the times of hardship and trials.
Hurricane Andrew destroyed everything that was ours, except us. Our entire neighborhood looked like a warzone..... We put pillows and sheets in the backseats of the cars as evening drew near and we prepared for an attempt at sleep.... I can still remember my parents friends wading through the water, manuevering through fallen trees to get to our home. Instead of watching the tragedy on TV and tsk'ing.... they risked their lives truly (amid flooded streets with downed power lines).... to come and find us... This is true friendship. but at 12 I didn't realize how rare it was.
Someone we knew and respected passed away last Thursday.
Uncle was respected by all, but he had one family in particular who were very close to them. So close they were joked to be virtually twins spending much of their days together. The children too, now adults, all good friends, perhaps brothers.
After Uncle passed away, they came, but with the others, in the evening, sat a spell and went on their way...
In my culture, if you are this close, you drop everything and you spend your time with this person.... they don't just want you there, they need you there.... to help organize things that may be too difficult to organize at the moment, and to make sense of what makes no sense to you.
Zig Ziggler once said "I can follow you around for ten years to get to know your character or I can follow you for ten minutes after a tragic or highly stressful circumstance and get the same analysis of your characther." Because its when times are tough that your true nature comes out.
I think that true friendship is a very rare gift... Ive heard it said before but these sort of situations make me realize it.
Who are the people when they know you lost your job, open their wallet to see how they can help you?
Who will not ask questions if you call on a Tuesday midnight and ask them to come over quickly?