I am thankful for friends. Friends, near and far, I am thankful for all. And, from a blog post I did a few months ago, My Friends, My Cousins, “Beginning with trips, visits, and times before they ever registered with my conscious memory, I had many friends. These friends weren’t from my neighborhood or from our church, and I wasn’t even old enough to be in school yet. Nevertheless, I had friends. And as each year passed it seemed as though I had more friends. These friends didn’t go away either, they were just always my friends (they still are), no matter how far time or distance took us from one another. These friends were, and are, my cousins.”
I remember when I was just a little boy, my late Grampy Beal and my late Aunt June were teaching me the word friend and how to spell it. I remember it like it was yesterday, F-R-I-E-N-D, friend to the end. I before E, except after C. Friend to the end is what I remember most, always have, always will, friends to the end. I was hanging around the cash register and counter area at the Good News Book Store that day. I did that on a lot of days. My Grampy owned the store, just as he did the one in Mars Hill, Maine. My Aunt June, and especially, my Aunt Meredith and Uncle Paul, worked at, and ran the store for many, many years. Anyways, I remember the day I learned the word friend, friend to the end. That same day my Grampy also used his typical technique for disposing of hornets that had flown inside. He simply hunted them out of the air and clapped them with his bare hands like most of us would with mosquitoes. At my young age, and on throughout my life, I thought, and realized he feared nothing. That day though, he just wanted to teach his grandson about the word friend.
I’m thankful for my friends. I have good friends, good people who care about matters outside of themselves. Whether we see each other often or seldom, we are friends, and I know we will be friends until the end.