The Importance of Friendship

Yesterday, I went tobogganing with my son and a friend and his son; both of whom I hadn’t seen in some time.  It was the first real snowfall of the year in Kelowna and the two boys (both four years old) were excited to hurtle themselves down the slope.

While there was no question that both my son and my friend’s son enjoyed the outing, I had an equally enjoyable time catching up with my friend. I am a recent divorcee with a new partner and I have struggled to maintain my male relationships.  Tobogganing this weekend reminded me of the importance of friendship.

I have some really close friends who have been by my side for most of my life.  The most important part of my long-term friendships is that these guys know me and have witnessed all the major changes in my life.  I think about Keith and Allan and how they have seen me as a triathlete, a dedicated student, a physiotherapist, a business owner, a married man, a father, a divorced man, a man in love, a graduate student, a researcher, and now…

What if these friends weren’t in my life?  Who could attest to my story and more importantly, keep me honest to the details!  I am thankful for my friends and will never forget those who have stayed by my side during my challenges.  My friends never judged but accepted my changes as a new chapter for them too.

As we enter the holiday period, much of the focus tends to be on family.  Without question family is important at this time.  What about those without close ties to family?  Who do they have at this time of year?  We had a lovely pre-Christmas dinner tonight with family.  What really added to our dinner tonight were the interesting friends that our children brought to our dinner.  I feel enriched by their presence.

For many people, the holidays are a time of happiness and re-connection with family but for others, it is an intensely sad time of the year too.  My sincere wish for those not with family at this time of year is that they reach out and make contact with an old friend.  Christmas has as much to do with family as it does with friends.  I could not have made it through my most challenging periods of my life without my friends.

I dedicate this blog to my closest friends…you know who you are.


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