A Friend Is Someone Who

A friend is someone who —-

will listen to your side of the story with-

out choosing sides or being triangulated:

“Hey, I just want to explain where I’m

coming from. I don’t expect you to be

triangulated or take sides, but I do ex-

pect, after almost thirty years of friend-

ship, you, at least, would let me give

you my take. Just let me vent, but no.

You, my friend, sat there in what looked

like apoplexy warmed over saying, ‘It is

between you and them. I have nothing

to do with it.’” And that after almost thirty

years of friendship. Needless to say,

there is some disappointment here.

 

A friend is someone who —-

will listen when you say you have gone from

doing one thing for most of your adult life to

doing something else, being one thing for

most of your adult life to being something

else, like doing poetry instead of sermons,

like going from being a preacher to being a

poet and will affirm that transition instead of

saying, “Poetry?  Poetry is hard. You do

poetry? How can you do poetry? How can

you be a poet? Are you trained in poetry?

Poetry is hard.  I don’t do poetry. I won’t

read your poetry. I just don’t get that.”  If a

friend embarked on a venture with which I

was unfamiliar, I would hope I would affirm

my friend and tell her that while I don’t know

much about it, I would give it a try and try to

understand it, and whether or not I under-

stood it, I would do it, simply because she

was my friend. And it wouldn’t matter if it

were almost thirty years or not.

 

A friend is someone who —-

might not be particularly internet friendly

but will make an effort to communicate via

e-mail when you know that your friend does

most of his communicating with friends via

e-mail and you won’t say, “Well, the best

way to get in touch with me is by phone. If

you want to get in touch with me, you can

call me,” and then makes no effort to initiate

the process by getting in touch with her

friend by phone, regardless of the number

of years – ten, twenty or almost thirty.

 

A friend is someone who —-

realizes that a friendship is a two-way street

and makes the effort to make accommod-

ations for that friendship even if it takes her

out of her “comfort” zone, and that a friend-

ship based only on what that person wants

isn’t a friendship at all — even after almost

thirty years.

 

A friend is someone who —-

will forgive friends’ shortcomings, limitations,

idiosyncrasies realizing his or her own short-

comings, limitations, idiosyncrasies while

trying to own his or her own feelings and

sharing honestly trusting that the almost

thirty years of friendship have got to be good

for something.

 

And then “Letting go, and letting God…,” or

perhaps just realizing that the friendship has

had its day and is slipping away as so often

is the way. It happens even after almost

thirty years.

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