December 23, 2009

True Friends

I had lunch with my best friend from high school yesterday. For various reasons, our friendship sort of dissipated a couple of years ago, but with one phone call, it was completely rekindled as if nothing ever changed.

How is that possible?

Because she needed me. Because she was going through something terrible and needed a shoulder to cry on. Her dad has been diagnosed with ALS. And certainly, when you've cared for someone as deeply as we've cared for each other (we were best friends since we were 15), all of the petty arguments are thrown out the window when you hear this type of news.

But this post isn't about ALS and how devastating a disease it is. This isn't about how her family is coping with this life-altering diagnosis. This post is about the disappointment I feel for her when her "friends" can't pick up the phone or send her an email to ask her how things are going. It frustrates me that at a time when she needs the support of her friends probably more than most any other time in her life, people aren't there for her.

And then... I'm glad that she knew I'd be there for her. Because that, to me, is the definition of a true friend. Someone who, despite everything, is there for you when times are tough.

It seems like the older I get, the more people I care about are facing these tough times (Life must have just been simpler back in high school). And it's when you face these things that you discover who your true friends are.

I used to be the kind of person who had a million "friends" and that the key to happiness was to be liked by everyone. I'm starting to understand, though, that I'd rather have a couple of really close, dependable friends than a whole bunch of acquaintances. I'd rather know who will be there for me when I need it most.

No comments:

Post a Comment