Friends. According to the Oxford Dictionary Online, a friend is “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.” “Somebody emotionally close: Somebody who trusts and is fond of another,” is the definition given by Encarta dictionary. And in Hebrew, a friend is a ‘chaver’ or ‘yedid.’ In my lexicon, a friend is all of these and more.
I’ve often expressed how I sometimes really miss the friends I’ve made over the course of many years and of the difficulties I occasionally encounter in adjusting to life here and making friends here. I’ve experienced many special moments in my life when my friends were truly there for me and no time was this more evident than when I fell ill eight years ago. During the course of those days, weeks and months following surgery, you, my friends did what friends do, quietly, genuinely and lovingly, providing care and love to me, Meyer and the kids making sure no stone went unturned to ensure that life continued so that I could focus on me and my recovery. Those were days when, I believe, my friends transcended the not so simple “bond of mutual affection” or emotional closeness, and became so much more. You became a part of my family and you hold a truly special place in my heart.
Recently, a week or so after Sukkot, one of you did it again. You transcended what I knew to be friendship and took our friendship to a whole other level. Shelley lovingly and creatively compiled my blog into a book, a hard cover book, with anecdotes, pictures and quotes and, amazingly, she had the book published. She presented this book to me on a Friday morning when she and her family came to visit us for a nice breakfast with friends who haven’t seen each other in a year. This book was a precious gift which I treasure. I treasure the thought and time that went into it. It has taken me this long to write about it because I’ve been in absolute shock over it. It was planned perfectly…my shock was genuine, my disbelief real. I will remember that Friday morning for a long time to come.
I guess my goal in writing this is to thank Shelley and to thank, really thank, all of you, my dear friends, for being there for me and for being the caring, fun, wonderful people you are. We may not always speak with one another, we may not see each other often, but you are held in high regard. I treasure my friendships and I hope I’ve been a good friend to all of you.
Like the lyrics from the theme song of ‘Friends‘, the TV show, (one of my favorites by the way) say, “I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before. I’ll be there for you, cause you’re there for me too.”