A recently read anthology has caused me to think about the many relationships I have with my friends. I really have been very blessed in my life and it occurred to me after reading the passage by Holleran below, that absence has no effect on friendship for me. Much in the same way that the friends of Jesus kept His memory alive after He left them, my friends are never forgotten because they are a vital part of who I was, who I am and who I have yet to become.
The strangest part of friendship may have nothing to do with the living, however. That is the realization that some friendships do not really die till both parties do. The oddest proof, if that's the word, of friendship is that daily thought of someone years after they've vanished; the conversations one still holds with them, the things one wishes one had said, the hope that they forgave, or understood, your weaknesses and failures during their struggle. You'll never know. Instead you find things in the newspaper you'd ordinarily clip and send them, or hear some gossip that makes you want to call them up, or learn something about a mutual friend's career you know only they'd fully appreciate. Which leads you to the oddest moment: wanting to dial someone at three in the afternoon to discuss something with a friends who isn't there. To a remarkable degree we are our friends, and as they diminish, so do we. (p. 37)
So to my friends past and present I'd like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for all the great memories and being the fabulous creations that God has made you!