Tough Times, True Friends

When I was 16 years old I was kicked out of my home. This was one of the most devastating and rewarding transitions I would ever experience. I had to now pay for my own private school, and tuition was not cheap. If I was to graduate high school I not only had to keep my grades up, but I had to pay the bill on time.

I had to quickly figure out where to live and take care of myself. Life just became a hard knock reality. It was that mixed feeling of being excited and scared, like being on a rollercoaster or having a kid. I had to grow up. I was on my own, but I did not make it alone.

“You know, the older I get the more things I gotta leave behind, that’s life.” -Rocky Balboa

I have lost a few friends and family over the years. My wife has lost twelve of her closest friends from high school. Twelve. Many of her friends still gather each summer every year to honor the loss of a great friend to cancer. I see so many people in despair after a friend or family member passes:

“I wish I would have told her how I really felt.”

“If he was still here I would tell him how much he changed my life.”

And the stories go on; we live with the regrets of those missed opportunities when we could have demonstrated honor while they were still alive.  Life is just a short vapor of time. One day you are drinking with your friends the night before graduation and the next you’re changing diapers all day, looking at age 40 around the corner. For whatever reason, we are reluctant to tell others they are important while they are still here on earth. I have decided to break that mold in my life. I have decided not to wait.

When I was young, lost and kicked out my home,  someone stepped up and offered a friendship that turned into a best friend for life. I looked up to him then and I still do. He is one of the reasons, in a stream of people, I have a great life today. I look forward to fishing with him again soon.

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