Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Meaning of True Friendship

I've heard the meaning of true friendship is being able to not see someone for long periods of time and when you do it's as though no time has passed at all. I think that's just our way of justifying being a lazy and frankly not very good friend. True friendship isn't NOT seeing someone...TRUE friendship is making time to see someone (or call, or write or send smoke signals) when it's inconvenient...when you have to make an effort. True friendship is a verb not a noun. It's showing others we care, it's acting with love.

I have learned so much about friendship and this week it has been on my mind a lot. A friend from another time in my life passed away after a long illness and it made me stop to think. I was sad because of his death but I was also sad that the memories I have of our friendship were from so long ago. There were unique circumstances to why our friendship was no longer active but those circumstances didn't make the sadness any less. Then I started thinking about the friendships I do have and asking myself if I take the time I should with each of them. Life gets hectic and we are consumed with our daily responsibilities. Before we know it friendships fall to the wayside and with the more time that passes the easier it becomes to not make an effort. I know that I have been guilty of this in the past and I'm hoping to become a better friend for recognizing it.

I think back to a time when I was laid up from a car accident and I was bed ridden for several months. It was a very lonely and dark time for me. I loved when a friend would stop by or I would get a card in the mail. Some just called to see how I was doing. It was before the days of facebook so my ACTUAL friends had to make an effort..had to make me a priority in their lives.I know it wasn't always easy for them to find the time, but I SO appreciated when they did. I also learned a lot about the people I thought were my friends.

One afternoon when I was finally able to get out of the house with the help of a wheelchair and my husband at the time. We went up to the store to pick up a few things. I've never been so happy to be able to go grocery shopping before! While in the parking lot we ran into someone I had once considered a good friend. She excitedly ran up to me...telling me how happy she was to see great it was and that NOW that I can get out of the house we'll have to get together! REALLY??!! NOW since I can get out of the house you want to see me? NOW that I can make it easier on you you want to be my friend? I don't need that kind of friendship. What I NEEDED were friends that made me a priority in their lives not an option. It was disheartening to realize I really meant that little to this person but at the same time it made me ever the more grateful for the friends that showed they cared!

I watch the same thing happening to my dad and it makes me so ANGRY! So angry and so incredibly sad! My dad has one true and blue friend that stops by to see him religiously. They sit and reminisce about old times, laugh about good memories, and catch up on what's new in the world. It brightens his day. He may stay 15 min. or 2 hours, it doesn't matter. What matters is he SHOWS my dad his friendship! That kind of friendship is PRICELESS!

It should make you stop and think...WHO would make YOU a priority? Who would think that your friendship is important enough to make the effort? I bet the list of people would surprise you. And ask yourself this...what kind of friend are YOU? In YOUR dictionary is friendship a VERB or a NOUN?

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