The iPhone chimed deliberately between songs playing through the front speakers the other day while I was driving to my next destination. Always careful not to have it in hand, the contraption remained sideways sliding back and forth on the passenger seat beside me. For about seven minutes that damn, sleek, black, rectangular thing all but drove me batty.
It had only sounded once as the new text message came in. But it wasn’t the noise which did it for me, it was the curious wondering of who the sender may have been. These days, my contact list has become so extensive, I knew it could have come from just about anyone. To my surprise, it was from someone in my past, completely unexpected.
Almost instantly upon seeing the name, the day then quickly took one of those sudden deviations from emotional obscurity to one almost dripping with bountiful humorous memories. I was instantly transformed from my out-of-sorts cranky-assed mood, into one of remarkable contentment and jovial reflection. The mental shift from there to here, and then from here to there, became an awesome distraction to some of my current stressors of the times. The mere presence of this message had caused a fruitful positive swerve to my Friday.
Someone once said, “if you can count your true friends in life, on one hand, you are blessed”. I have no idea where this originated, but after considering it many, many years ago it has always existed as a reminder deep within me to appreciate the value and richness my friends have somehow added to my time here. We don’t keep up with each other with any sort of annual cadence. It does seem when we do, time passed has meant nothing in terms of shading the brightness found within our true friendships. They instantly become brilliant again, as current as they ever were.
We race through our day in a thoughtless effort merely to approach the next. Our actions and accomplishments represent tangible markers, but the people around us become the true highlight source for some of the most treasured experiences shared while living. Void of their engagements, there are no memorable images to revisit, as I had immediately just done. After reading the text, I shook my head laughing at the actions taken by the two of us back in the day, one million five hundred thousand years ago.
Without such special people, there only exists a series of our own empty storyboards written in black and white. A very small amount of unique folks within our world are capable of adding such color needed to entirely reconfigure the internal motion picture comprising our own individualized tale. As the love from a parent to child is completely unconditional, so too is the relationship bond with those in our finger circle. It is they who provide their own unique colors to our canvas.
With every one of our friends, there have been markers when it was best to let them remain where they are in thought, rather than join. Other occasions warranted traveling out of the way to also jump head-first into their current space. It would seem to be; the truest of friends always possess the innate ability to understand this incredibly delicate balance, and read it correctly each time. As the need arises too, there is also an immediate reassurance in knowing your five will continue on alongside you. Just as you will for them.
I don’t have any idea when my five will talk or text in the future. Eventually, we may be able to catch up over draft beers and chicken wings sooner or later. It makes no real difference knowing, the magic is in understanding our truest of friends will always be there for one another regardless of miles, months, or circumstance. And then… the memories will flow yet again. The good, the bad, the incredible, and the regret for not making them last longer. Life always seems to get in the way somehow.
Commit to yourself, and go pick up the phone. Make a call or send a text. Not because you have to, and not because someone expects it. Do so because it is the very definition of a true friend possessing the unwritten bond which separates you from the rest of their contacts. Remind them once again via your efforts, you have the uncanny ability to be available standing tall for them at just the right crossroad.
Timing is everything. As we consider the current Covid mess we are all facing right now. There is a really good chance the person on the other end of technology might appreciate having a sudden smile forced upon them.
From there, laugh together. Do it until it hurts.
And then do it some more.