What is a friend?

Hopefully we all have them, some have them in great numbers, others are content with one or two.
I had thought I knew what a friend was until I was part of a discussion recently, where a fairly sizable number spoke of having at least one friend who is all take and no give. I was surprised by the number who had such friendships, especially those who knew the relationship was only one way.

So what do I think a friend is?

Well for me it’s very simple.

It’s not about the socialising… which I thoroughly enjoy with all my friends.
It’s not about the amount of time we spend together… some of my friends I spend very little time with.Caren Pilgrim
It’s not about our similarities… many of my friends are very different to myself.
It’s not about how often they phone me or call by…some of my oldest, dearest friends live abroad.
It’s not about how good they are at keeping in touch… some of them are rubbish and vice verse.

So what is it?

It is the fact that I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that every one of my friends would go the extra mile for me. If I and not Daniels mum, had had to move to a hospital in Dublin with a sick child for eleven months, I know that each one of my friends would gather about and look after my family in my absence.

How do I know?

Because when I was at school they were there.
When my father was ill and dying, they held my hand as I cried and helped me up when I fell down.
When life got beyond difficult as I pursued my abuser they walked beside me.
When Danny became ill they kept a close eye on me.

It’s easy to be there when all is good in our lives, but it’s when darkness comes our true friends arrive, bringing just enough light to help you through. Those are the friends to hold close. Those are what I believe to be real friends.

To my many dear friends, those I see daily or occasionally, those living abroad and of course you who I’ve recently reconnected with after so long, thank you for sharing my life to date.

photo…Caren Pilgrim

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24 thoughts on “What is a friend?

  1. Beautiful post Tric. In an era where youth confuse Facebook friends for real friends, sometimes it takes a significant life event to really demonstrate who’ll be there when the sh1t hits the fan.

    1. Yes I think it takes us all time to appreciate and find true friends. Thankfully I’m really rich in that department.
      You must have left a fair few friends behind. Did you make new ones?

      1. I’m a bit of a nomad. Don’t quite fit into Antrim where I’m from, and my Dublin mates from Uni days have all gone to London/Australia etc. In Colombia, I became friendly with 4 or 5 people. Being a single man who was eager to learn the language quickly, I focussed my energies on the fairer sex. It’ll be with a heavy heart that I leave! 🙂

  2. Well said. A friend to me is a person who stands the test of time. I have one such friend, whom I speak to only a couple of times a month and whom I rarely see. But, they’ve always been there and I feel confident that they will always be. And vice versa. That to me is a friend.

  3. Yup. Some of my dearest, oldest, most influencing friends live all over this globe. THe difference between them and “work buddies” is that instead of having something in common that binds us together, we have oceans and miles that could never tear us apart.
    Thanks for this reminder. x

  4. I agree you find out who your true friends are when things are at there worse for you . I went through a dark time once in my life and it was then I found out who my true friends are. And we are still close.

  5. Well Tric where would I be without you! In our case…in your words…”the less you hear from me means the better I am”! 😄You know what I mean!
    You’re a super friend to have and I cherish it! 👍

    1. And now having read this, you know why you’re one of my great friends.
      Lovely to see you here on the blog and yes I’m always happy NOT to hear from you. xxx

  6. I like what you said, Tric, “when darkness comes our true friends arrive.” . My dad used to say that you knew who your true friends were when you were down. I always remembered that.

    1. Yes, when you’re not the life and soul of the party and things are not going well for you it’s only your real friends who take the time and energy to help put you back together.
      It’s lovely that you remember your Dad’s words.

  7. Those friends of yours sound like real friends. As for the other type you mentioned, I’m not sure someone who is genuinely all take really counts as a friend at all. They’re rather closer to parasites. 😦

  8. This is a question I have thought about a lot recently, my thoughts change frequently as I remember things they have shared with me over the years. I have come to the conclusion that’s sometimes even friends let you down, maybe unintentionally and unknowing. I think different friends are there for different reasons and I value them all at different times.

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