posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 01:03 AM
The last decade has been very challenging for me. All my elders that were close died (and there were many), many friends also dies. My wife left me
for her hiking partner after 24 years together, I was told that my physical condition should have killed me way to many times and I lost everything I
worked over 50 years for. This is not in any way a plea for sympathy, I assure you I am so much better now and this is about something else.
After my wife left me, my children convinced me to date again and I did. The first woman I dated, I dated for about a year (travel restricted that
year to 13 dates), we got to see each other about once a month. A very nice, educated, intelligent, attractive and well mannered lady just a few years
older than me.
One night we were returning from dinner at a nice restaurant. I was dropping her off at her condo. We were talking as I was driving and she asked
something about my past and I told her how I had sort of lost it when my life had become unbearable. I said everyone has to hit their wall to know
their limits and that those times are when you find out who your true friends are. She was Ukrainian and an executive with a major corporation. She
said that what I said was correct and we find out just how few people are true friends. I had to correct her. When my life turned to absolute hell, I
found out just how many friends I had and it was a lot.
Everyone of my friends offered me a free place to stay during my divorce, every loving one of them. My siblings would have taken me in an taken of me,
multiple cousins offered and my friends offered. I actually lived with one of my friends for six months by the beach. A couple of business associates
would have taken care of me and expected nothing in return. She was wrong, the Ukranian, she was wrong.
I love my siblings and know that we would always care for one another. We grew up together and have lots of history and when I was caring for my
father while he was dying, they never once questioned my choices and I am the baby of the family. The last two years have been equally emotionally
challenging, more deaths and more loss. The difference is that I didn't fall this time, because I survived my personal hell a few years back, the
problems this time were much easier to deal with, same problems; but, I got stronger.
Here is the funny thing, when I was really down and it looked like I would not make it, my friends protected, helped me and offered and assistance
needed and meant it. At the time I was losing it and they stood by me. My friends saw me falter and were not going to let anyone or anything take me
out, they kept me going and trusted that I could take care of any external threats if I just knew they were behind me and they were right.
During my life I always prided myself on having done it all by myself and not relying on others, one against the world. I helped everyone and never
wanted anything back, that was pride. When I fell and hit my wall, I never asked for help, they insisted upon helping me and refused to listen to me
say how I was okay when they knew I was at deaths door and they would have no part of it.. I have the greatest friends a man could ever hope for.
Turned out that my friends were my friends, not because of how I had helped them in the past as I have helped many; but, they were my friends because
they appreciated me.
If you want good friends, be what you want from them. I am pretty simple, I will not be true friends (we can be friendly) with anyone who is dishonest
or who is selfish. I have friends that are not Christians, that is not a requirement. My friends have to be loyal to their family and friends, they
have to care about others, heck, they have to care about people and doing the right thing even if we disagree over what the right thing is. They have
to be people that I respect for some reason.
We develop relationships and we choose who we call friend. The criteria that we use in choosing friends determines the quality of friends we have
around us. The way in which we deal with others determines who is willing to be around us and for what reasons. Just felt a need to post this. Peace.