True friendship is a true gift

What a blessing to have friends. Photo: Best friends

MISSOURI, April 27, 2013 –The dictionary defines a friend as “A person you know well and regard with affection and trust.”

What a blessing to have friends.

Many times we measure our blessings by material goods, but the value of a true friend can’t be measured. A friend is a special treasure that brings a certain contentment. This kind of friend is someone you trust wholeheartedly, and with whom you can totally be yourself.

A true friend is a gift. When you ask a friend, “Would you do me a favor?” and he always replies, “Yes, how may I help you?” You know you are blessed. You feel happy all over, not because the person is going to do you a favor, but because your subconscious is telling you once more how lucky, you are to have a friend.

Trust is high among friends. This trust must be earned, and it only comes over time as friends communicate and share in the good times and the bad.

Friends talk to each other. In days gone by, we wrote letters and made phone calls. Today with the advent of the computer and e-mail capability, it is much easier and cheaper to communicate. You are able to communicate in writing as if you were talking over the phone. So today we have another communication tool that enables us to interact with our friends and family. In the “good old days,” if our friends were not located nearby, communication was not as easy as today.

There are many types of friendship that we encounter at different times in the life cycle. When we were children, we may have had a number of friends who were our playmates, but even then there were always one or two who were special. Have you experienced the pleasant surprise of a former playmate calling you unexpectedly? Did they address you by your childhood name such as “Suzy Bee” rather than your current name “Susan”? Surely, you were amazed.  Since that call did you start communicating again and plan to meet if the logistics made it possible, but maybe you took a flight and had a great reunion?

Even in school there are categories of friends—social friends and those we know through school organizations such as cheerleading, school newspaper, drama club and sports. These organizations provided a bond, since members having a common objective to reach a goal. Some people maintain these friendships throughout their lives. This is terrific, as you have the ability to mature together as friends and derive all the benefits that friends have to offer. 

Another source of friendship is among members of the armed services and veterans. Sharing military service experiences together sometimes creates friendships for life, as evidenced by veteran reunions, American legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations.

Then there are the friendships we develop in the workplace that are lasting as well. We all have our work friends and, even in retirement, we get together as a group or individually. Maybe we play some golf or the families get together and have lunch or take a ride to see the countryside.  As we mature and become more limited in our activities, a simple phone call or letter is a wonderful way to keep in touch. It is always a delight to hear a friend’s voice and catch up on what is happening in your friend’s life currently, as well as talk about the “good old days.”

Friendships sometimes are of a short duration, as God brings different people across our paths for different purposes. Then there are the “forever friends,” who, though separated by time and distance, are always there in times of crisis. Whether short-term or long-term, we are blessed to have known and experienced true friendship.

We cannot choose the family into which we are born. Sometimes the family relationships are far from perfect, and we can grow up without many feelings of belonging. However, we do get to choose our friends, and sometimes God uses those special people to take up the slack where our family members cannot or will not meet our needs.

At various times throughout our lives, we think back to past good times and the people who were a part of them. For some reason, we have failed to tell them “thank you.” This negligence usually is due to getting caught up in raising a family and all the day-to-day living. Before you know it, a decade or, in some cases, decades have passed. During this period, we occasionally think about these people and decide to write or make a phone call just to say, “Hi.” But again, something happens and those thoughts disappear into the historical memory bank.

One of the greatest blessings that we have is our true friends who are with us during the bad times and are with us for the good times; hopefully the good outweighs the bad.

However, that’s from a time and place I am from-

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Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles is a fifty-four-year career in technology retiring at the directors level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a free-lance columnist, published three books, over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, radio interviews, one television commercial and finally married for sixty-five years, four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great grand children. 

Charles is also a Navy veteran.

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