During the holidays, I gravitate toward the past. I believe its a natural inclination, after losing someone that was part of most of your holidays. It’s difficult for me during festive times not to feel a slight twinge of sadness. But I don’t want to focus on that sadness today, I want to tell you a story about friendship.
In writing this, I am overcome by feelings of happiness, sadness and trying to reach my arms to retrieve some of the past. My Mom and Dad, as well as my sister and I, are fortunate because we have witnessed true friendship. I believe adversity not only builds character (pardon the cliche), but also reveal the true character of your friendships. The ease of friendships and relationships don’t come into question during birthdays, good times, and celebrations. The strength and weakness of a friendship is revealed during the days in between, sometimes at inopportune times, like at three o’clock in the morning.
I would like to share with you two people who have been a presence in my life, but even a larger presence in the life of my Mom and my Dad. For their privacy, I will call them the C’s. They are people like you and me, but possess a grace that comes without conditions. The C’s transported my father to the hospital when my sister and I couldn’t make it. Mr. C. cut my parent’s lawn when my father’s limbs couldn’t even move to sit down. I’ve not revealed this to many people, but a few months before my father passed, my childhood home almost burned down. The C’s were there to assist again, alerting my parents to get out, and pleading with the firefighters to do all that they could to save my parent’s house. “They don’t need this, right now. Really. Please save their house.”
In the not so pensive times, Mr. C and my father would have long conversations about nothing in particular. After he passed, Mr. C. showed me a piece of paper that my father had written a particular Indian saying and he revealed he kept it to remind him of better times. The C’s invited my parents over to play pool, showing them the intricacies of the game. There are other countless things that they have done, so many that it ovewhelms me. I know my father loved them like his own family, calling Mr. C the brother he never had.
I hope in my lifetime I witness more of this kind of friendship. As I grow older, I am not interested in politically correct friendships; I strive for genuine connections with people who love me and want to be part of it all: the good, the bad and all of the unscripted moments. I don’t want friends that can’t tell me how they feel and hide behind smiles and half truths. I want friends that feel with me.
I raise my glass to the C’s. For their kindness. For their friendship. For their grace. For teaching me what it means to be a true friend.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope true friendship graces your life.
Have you witnessed true friendship? How do you define a true and good friend? Are you a good friend?
What a lovely tribute. It is a blessing to have those true friendships in our life. I know the holidays can be bittersweet without your dad. I hope that you have a happy Thanksgiving with those you love.
Having attended the funeral of my best friend on my fourteenth birthday, and finding that my best friends currently live in New York, Atlanta and Seattle while I live and love in LA, and having witnessed the sort of friendship that might seem to transcend political correctness, space, time and rational logic, I would simply say, Namaste.
p.s. I’d love to know the Indian saying, but perhaps we could call it karma and be as correct as any other string of words?
Everyone should be so lucky and so blessed to have true friends like the Cs were (are?) for your parents. They are a lesson that when we found those people, we should treasure them and never take them for granted.
I hope we all witness more of that kind of friendship. It’s beautiful and full of good. We’re lucky to have a large, generous and close-knit family – but there’s something so special about friends who become like family out of a sense of love and connection, with the facts and obligations of kinship completely aside. I’m so glad that you and yours had such supportive, giving friends. This was a lovely tribute to them and to true friendship, as you’ve described it.
The c’s are what friendship is truly about, an extension of family. I am so happy your family has had those kind of friends. Those are the kind of people I call friends, the other friends are really in a sense only acquaintances. Thanks for sharing this story.
What wonderful people the C’s are! I believe we all wish we have friends like that.
I believe we all hope we can be that kind of people.
What wonderful friends! Thank you for sharing.
The blessing of having true, good people in our lives. It is such a blessing to see the beauty of friendship.
So rare, but so beautiful.
I hope I one day know the kind of friendship you and your family have with the Cs. I’m not sure I have that in my life, or ever have. That saddens me a little, but like you, I yearn for genuine connections and have hope that I will find them.
The Cs sound like truly genuine people who did these things out of love for your parents/family. This post reminds me of something my
mom told me a few weeks ago. She told me that two of her clients (now friends) call her every Couple of weeks to make sure she’s okay. We have lots of relatives, family and close friends who live close by, but the people that call to see if things are okay – are her clients.