“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” ~ C.S. Lewis
My time spent in the military created in me a need to be very selective when it comes to my social circle. I would have to say that in the two decades since my discharge from service, I have met three people with whom I have become close enough with to call my best friends and family.
The first one I met about 15 years ago, and she later became my wife. She is still my closest and dearest friend to this day.
The second I met a few years later, although I can’t quite remember how. I do know that since then, him and I have developed a mutual bond and trust for one another.
The third one was quite unexpected and unique. I was running a small business at the time and was hiring new personnel. I call it a small business but really, I was just a distribution contractor for the Denver Post. In essence, a glorified paperboy manager. But I digress.
As I am going through the candidates, I have this one guy who sticks out to me. Now granted, it is a job interview, but it was for delivering newspapers and my expectations were not high. In walks this guy dressed in a full business suit, like he’s interviewing for a law firm. As I recall, I believe he was actually holding a briefcase as well.
Fortunately for him, it was not the suit that impressed me at all, instead it was the rasta-hat he was wearing. It was fabulous really, right down to the stitched-on marijuana leaf that you could only see as he was walking away.
Needless to say, I hired him.
As the years have gone by, our friendship has grown to beyond brotherhood. I helped as I could while he started a new martial arts school and a few years later he presented me with a black belt of my own. I shared in his sorrow when his father passed, and he shared in mine when my grandmother passed. We traveled together for martials events across the country, and sometimes just for the fun of it.
Having a highly developed sense of selective friendships has some advantage in a sense that the friends you make and the ones you hold close have a very fulfilling presence. In 20 years, I have made three friends, they are all my best friends, and they are all I need.
The unfortunate side of things is that losing one, just one of those friends can have a tremendous impact, as I have recently found. Easter morning, I woke up to a phone call from one of those friends calling to tell me that the other had passed away.
As the pain from this loss goes deeper than any I have known before, I find myself afraid but in a very strange way. My fear is that any day now the reality of it all will finally set in, but for some reason I find it calming.
“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”
~ Shel Silverstein
Just felt like sharing.