(a parting shot for 2011)
By Vladimir Kagan copyright December 31, 2011
Friendships come in different sizes and intensity. They are hard to codify: There are fair-weather friends, casual friends, social friends. There are friends you see once a year and there are those you see only on Christmas Cards. There are intrusive friends and distant friends. There are people that “wanna” be a friend but you can’t see why – At least on Face Book and Linkedin… they’re in your face but you can ignore or un-friend them. And then there are friendships that are reciprocal – a quiet understanding camaraderie.
There are people who take one look at each other and see friendship - that is chemistry. Friendships need nurturing; they grow from seedlings and sprout only with the right amount of watering. It’s not like love at first sight… that’s infatuation. These friendships can be lopsided… that’s OK.
Let me tell you about my best friend. It started as mutual admiration… two good-looking kids getting together on a date. Over the years our friendship grew… we became inseparable friends. We discovered shared interests but also divergent qualities. Untried waters… risk taking… openness. Openness is perhaps the crucial attribute. Exposing the delicate under-belly of emotions.
Shut out the world and you cloister yourself. Let the world enter your heart and it will create happiness. “You reap as you sow” – Happiness will bring a smile to your life and in turn creates laughter. Laughter is the best ingredient for good health. Not the stuff of Comedy Central, but the attitude that lets you see the brighter side of life even in the face of diversity. Life is like a bowl of cherries, enjoy it while its there; it’s an eternity and a flash – here today and gone tomorrow.
It takes two to Tango; it takes two to make an argument. The road to happiness is not a smooth path. Friends can disagree… sometimes passionately. It is not “I win- you loose”, it is a seesaw. Never, never take a grudge to bed; never wake up with a grudge. There are two sides to every argument and the solution may well be a third side. This simple lesson can take years to learn, but when it becomes a part of your life – friendship will turn to love.
We loved each other day and night… We enjoyed boundless curiosity. Our love was indestructible, always full of beans, always able to “resist both wind and tide.” We became inseparable – two peas in a pod - the Yin and Yang of life.
I had this love for over 54 years. The love of my life - my best friend, Erica, is now gone. Mercifully, memories of all pain diminish. Happiness outlasts tears – Good memories live forever.
This was our last picture together, Erica and me at a Christmas Party, the day before she died
Friendships, love and memories never die!