We all think of a friend as someone who is there when we need them, and who, unlike Santa Claus, is capable of appreciating us whether we are good or bad. Unless we are really bad, in which case they let us know about it full face.
But lately, I’ve been thinking of other ways a friend is known.
A friend ...
... writes letters we keep for years and years, until finally, our heirs have to box them and put them into storage for even more years before throwing them away.
... has many of the same books as are found on your shelves, and has read them. Same with CDs and DVDs.
... actually has that one odd book we have that few others do, such as “The Dusty Trails of Bud Bodeo,” or the many tales of Ben Green.
... is more curious than fearful of our eccentricities, and will listen to stories we’ve told many times, sometimes finishing our sentences.
... has dogs that get along with our dogs.
... picks up the restaurant bill when it isn’t expected, but is really appreciated.
... finds a way to defend us even when others find it impossible.
... pays us back before it’s time, and doesn’t mention it. And lends to us the same way.
... asks for our opinion when they are stuck in a difficult situation, knowing our advice will be fair and to the point.
... is a friend, which is more, and sometimes different, from being friendly.
... will probably be there when we face the end.
Maybe that’s why the word friend ends with the word end. ❖
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