It's a tough life sometimes. A friend of mine lost his brother. There I go again, using that term 'lost'. What I mean to say is, his brother died. They were twins. Imagine. He - they- are only 30 years old. Too young to have to lose that connection. But it happened. We used to be so close - he was my daughter's first serious relationship, and they had plans for a future together. But it ended, and sometimes it's awkward for me to maintain our friendship. But I had grown very fond of him. He was a part of our family for over two years. He practically lived at my house, day in and day out, even accompanying us on our family vacations. So we stayed in touch. We still have things in common - a passion for organic gardening.
But lately I had not been in contact with him for about 6 months. I didn't have his phone number, he doesn't use facebook, and we don't have the same social connections, so we don't run into each other casually. I debated whether or not I should go to the visitation because I don't know the rest of the family. I figured he probably wouldn't even notice if I showed up anyway, since we haven't spoken in 6 months. But in the end I decided to go. When my own brother died 2 years ago, I remembered everyone that was there. So I sat in the back pew at the visitation last night, looking at the backs of the family members. I noticed that he was missing. Suddenly, someone plopped down on the seat next to me and enveloped me in a bear hug.
"I knew you would come!" he whispered.
"Of course," I whispered back.
"I miss you guys," he said.
Ok. Now I feel like crap. What the hell have I been doing? I'm an idiot.
"Friends are God’s way of taking care of us."
Not sure who is responsible for that quote, but I find it very comforting.
So here's what I know for sure: I need to take better care of my friendships. I don't want to get caught like this again. If a friend is in need, I want to be there.
Be an Authentic Friend!