Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friends Forever?

It has been said that people only have one or two “good friends.” You know ,the kind of friends that you can talk to about matters of great importance including those that may need some discretion as well. They are the kind of friends with whom you share joy and sorrow . These are the friends that are dear to you, that you trust and that you have fun with, that you cry with. They are the type of friends that are there through good times and bad. I believe it to be true that really at any given time people are only capable of having a very few really good friends. Yet looking back over my own life, I’ve seen because of changes in circumstances, those “good” friends are exchanged from time to time.

Clara Odelia Ciutara penned these words

Friend gives you smile
But true friend gives you happiness

Friend will lie about you
But true friend won’t tell your weakness

Friend knives your back
But true friend will slog your face

Thousands friends come when you’re happy
But only one true friend comes when you cry

Friend comes when he needs you
But true friend comes when you need him

Friend leaves when everybody does
But true friend comes when everybody leaves

Friend comes and leaves
But true friend is yours forever (

For instance during my elementary school days, Jeremy was my best friend. We played on the playground, spent the night at each other's  house, made prank calls, etc. We liked the same things and spent quite a lot of time together.  Yet as we grew and by the time we made it to middle school things had changed. Our classes were different, and we didn’t see each other much at school. Jeremy later moved to Oklahoma and I haven’t heard from him since. Thus ipso facto, a new “best friend” was found to take his place.

During my junior high days, Doc was my closest friend. Like Jeremy we spent a lot of time together, liked the same things, and enjoyed one another’s company. Middle school was the time when we first started noticing girls. Of course, I was as dorky as they come and “notice” was about all I did. Doc had a girlfriend or two during that time, and I remember we’d have our parents drop us off at the movies, or the skating rink and we’d spend our free time on the weekends trying to pretend we were “cool.” I failed miserably at that one. Of course as way leads on to way, by the time we reached high school things changed yet again.

Thus, Doc was replaced.

Brandon was a good friend in high school (and even thereafter). He remained quite constant in my life for a long time. Brandon and I became friends for a number of reasons. We went to church together. We met in the seventh grade when his family moved to town, and his parents and mine became good friends rather quickly. Thus, we spent a lot of time together. We would stay up late on the weekends and rent videos, or watch the “B” movies that they played on the USA channel’s “Up All Night” Program. We had a lot of great times and helped one another through our awkward teen years. We remained friends even after our high school days and helped each other with some difficult times. He is a true friend and I am glad that he was one of my closest friends at such a crucial time in my life. Unlike the others, Brandon and I did not just “drift” because of circumstances. With Brandon it was my own foolish decision that drove a wedge between us. We remain friends even now, but this are not like they were during the proverbial “back then.”
Another really good friend during those High School days was Carlos (though he also answered to “Josh” or “Joe.” But that’s a long story best saved for another time). Josh lived a block away from me my whole life, yet we didn’t really become good friends until we were in High School. We were Law Enforcement Explorers together, and we spent our weekends riding with the officers of the Pampa Police Department (like I noted earlier, I was a huge nerd). My senior year and his junior we each had vocational welding classes at the same time. I had mine in the ag shop, his was in the welding shop. Under the guise of “working on a major project,” we would each tell our respective teachers that we were going to work on this project in the classroom of the other, t which time we met at my truck and cut class. I could tell a litany of stories of all the ridiculous things that we did in High school, but I probably should wait until the statute of limitations runs out. In all actuality though, I need to devote one of these blogs to some of those stories. Josh and I spent a lot of time making big plans for the future. Little did we know that our future would be nothing at all like the plans we made. We took different paths. We are still friends as well, but again the closeness that characterized our younger days has dissipated. We keep in touch from time to time, and he remains on my list of folks that I would drop what I was doing to pull him out of the ditch.

After high school, I remained close friend with Brandon and Josh for a number of years. And though I do still consider them both friends now, the closeness that once was there is gone because of miles and circumstances of life.

As life continues to  realign, new opportunities present themselves.

Who will be the new best friends in years to come?

What circumstances will it be that bring us together and cause us to develop this bond?

How long will it last?

Who will follow?

The answers to these questions are yet to be answered, but life, circumstances, and issues are all fraught with possibility. Thus I am thankful for the contribution that each of these has made to my life, and I know that I would not be who I am without their mark. The time we spent as best friends gave me perspective that helped to make me the man that I am today. The experiences that we had helped to forge those friendships. Each of these guys will always be a friend to me, and they each will still hold some variable level of “closeness,” but time, chance, and circumstance present new opportunities for new close friends. I will embrace those chances for possibility and growth.