One thing getting older does for you, if you let it, you get to look back at all the people you’ve met and friends you’ve made. I’ve done extremely well in both categories. I remember in high school how all important it was to have friends, lots of friends. It never occurred to me that having a couple of really good friends was really all I needed. I was fortunate, however, I did have one really good friend.
David Young was my best friend from the sixth grade on. He took me as I was and at times I was pretty messed up. I never felt judged by him nor did I ever feel the need to explain myself. When there was something fun to do, I was included in his plans. He also introduced me to a couple of other older friends he had who I was able to develop a friendship with as well. Dave was always that way. Then in 1995 he found out he had a very rare form of cancer and the prognosis wasn’t at all good. In May of 1997 he succumbed to the disease. I tried to return all the favors he had done me by spending the last two weeks of his life at his bedside, I even stayed over at his house for a night.
Way back in 1970 I introduced Dave to the woman who would become his wife. It is without a doubt one of my proudest moments. They were the perfect couple and raised three children together.
I didn’t know until 1996 what his political affiliation was, such a thing never seemed important to either of us. But one day when I was visiting him he suggested I accompany him to a Pat Buchanan rally in Exeter NH where Dave was living. I’m a life-long Democrat but even so I could not say no to him and so I went. It was a lot of fun and quite educational as well.
I miss Dave, a lot. He was a really good man, a really good husband, a really good father, and an especially good friend.
I can honestly say I’ve been blessed with the friendship of hundreds of really good people. Some of those who were friends way back when have re-entered my life thanks to Facebook. If you want to know who some of them are, browse my Facebook page and you’ll find some of them there.
When I was young I was foolish, as I think we all are. I took friendships for granted and never considered how much each meant. I’ve changed that attitude and whenever I consider friends from my past, I am thankful for each of them. They have made my life richer and better. Each gave me something valuable that I could take with me through life. I owe each a debt of gratitude.
I hope that by writing this someone may read it and it will cause them to reflect on their friendship, old and new, a consider the value of what they have and have had.