Friendship. What a concept. It is something coveted by all of us. One time our preacher from Knoxville once said "you don't pick your friends. They pick you." He also said "your next friend may be your best friend." Friendships have been so very important to me over the years. I have had many for which I am truly thankful. However, this area has been a difficult one for me as well.
My very first best friend I guess I would have to say was Sheri. We grew up together and went to church together. I used to love it when our church would have revival because it always meant that Sheri and I would get to have a sleepover. Many times two sleepovers: her at my house and me at hers. We didn't go to school together (she lived in Ft. Oglethorpe and I in Hixson) but we did go to the same church. We used to always sit together, too. Many of her family members went there, too. I remember how it was a special treat to get a stick of Juicy Fruit gum from her great aunt.
Sheri had an illness called Cystic Fibrosis. I really did't know what it was, only that she would get ill from time to time. I honestly didn't think much of it. It was "normal" to me. Well, one day Sheri got really sick and had to go to the hospital. I thought it was just a little more than her parents could handle at home. Well, not only was it that, but cystic fibrosis claimed Sheri's life. She died when she was 17 years and one day old. Yes, she died the day after her birthday. I was 14. I cried so much I practically ran out of tears. Over the next several years there was not a day that went by that I didn't think about Sheri. I even had vivid dreams about her, that she really didn't die. Her death was 23 years ago now and my thoughts of her have dwindled from the intensity of them following her death. But I do still think about her and I miss her.
Over the years I have had many friendships. I guess one reason they have been so important to me is the fact that I am an only child. I missed having someone around to play with. Of course, seeing my daughters and how sometimes they don't get along, I can sometimes see the benefits of being an only child. LOL
Cherish your friends and remember to tell them that you love them. You never know when they might be gone.