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Real Friendship

ďMy father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life.Ē ~ Lee Iacocca, Former CEO of Chrysler

April 30, 2003

This month I have been thinking a lot about my friends, because I have been doing a series of writing prompts about friendship. When I was in school, I dreamed about just having somebody to walk to classes with. Having a best friend seemed like the most wonderful thing in the world. When I did finally acquire a true best friend, it turned out to be nothing like I expected, but everything I ever dreamed of.

I have never had a lot of friends, nor needed to be surrounded by friends, but, looking back over my life, I have been blessed by several real friends. In one particularly poignant friendship, I was with my friendóat least in spiritóas she came to terms with her terminal illness. One friendship has survived the test of distance. Another came about in part because of proximity, but grew to become a real friendship. A couple of my friends I have never even met, but that doesnít make the friendship any less valid.

I could fill this essay and then some with my collection of friendship quotes, and I am sure that anyone who read it would recognize one or more of their friends. But, instead of doing that, Iím going to give my personal take on what constitutes a real friendship.

  • Distance doesnít matter. You can have good friends that you leave behind when you move, but a real friend is always there. Maybe you keep in close contact, maybe you donít, but when you get in touch or get together, itís like you were never apart.
  • You arenít bothered by their quirks. You know the true person underneath, and you care enough to tolerate their idiosyncrasies. 
  • Some things donít need to be said. You know each other that well, and you understand where the other person is coming from.
  • You trust them completely. You are only human, and sometimes you will hurt each other, but you know youíll always work it out eventually.
  • Your life is richer for having them in it. 
If you have even one real friend, then, you, too, have been blessed.