A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Being Thankful for Our Friends

Posted on: March 2, 2015

Make new friends, but keep the old;

Those are silver, these are gold.

~ “New Friends and Old Friends” by Joseph Parry in The Best Loved Poems of the American People

When the phone rang before 9 a.m. yesterday morning, I had a feeling it would mean bad news. Sadly, I was right: my mother’s best friend had passed away about an hour earlier.

Her passing was expected, but not necessarily so soon. She’d been diagnosed six months earlier with terminal cancer, and my mother knew her friend was nearing the end of her life but thought they’d have the chance to get together one last time. It wasn’t to be.

They’d been friends throughout high school, even when attending different schools. Each had been in the other’s wedding party and supported the other through loss (both of my mother’s parents and her friend’s father). They’d stayed close even though my mother was a military wife and her friend always lived near their hometown. And after being out of touch for a while, they’d reconnected as though it had only been yesterday that they’d talked last.

We should all be so lucky as to have a friend to the end.

When I was growing up, most of the people I knew had lived in the area their whole lives; as an air force brat, I’d lived in four places and attended four schools by the time I was nine. These days, many of us don’t live in or even near our hometown. We may long since have lost touch with the people we went to elementary and high school with, let alone our university or college classmates. Even with cell phones and social media, busy lives may lead us to lose anything more than superficial contact with old friends and make it a challenge to build new friendships.

But the Bible tells us that friendships matter. We can read about the friendship between David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel, chapters 18 to 20*, and in 2 Samuel, chapters 1 and 9; the friendship between Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 2; and Paul’s greetings to his friends at the end of his epistles. These verses from Proverbs also tell us about the importance of true friends:

A friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

There are friends who pretend to be friends,

but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Your friend, and your father’s friend, do not forsake. (Proverbs 27:10a)

I pray that we would recognize our friends as blessings from God and be thankful for them and that we would keep up our old friendships and make new ones.

(*Scripture quotes and references taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)


1 Response to "Being Thankful for Our Friends"

Beautiful post. I will keep your mother and her friend in my prayers. God Bless

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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