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My View: ‘True’ friendship lasts a lifetime

By Kathleen Gurbacki

Did you ever go into a desk, a closet or a drawer looking for a particular item, only to find something else that now has caught your attention? An item that you just have to pick up and reminisce about; so much so that you might even forget what you were looking for in the first place?

I happened to do just that recently. I came across a note in a drawer from my “other” son. One that he sent to me when he moved to North Carolina 20 years ago.

I have a son named David. My other son is Daniel. Both were born on the same day. Dan is 45 minutes older than Dave. And no, they are not twins, but they are very much alike.

The boys first met in kindergarten and soon became best friends. Dan’s mother would often drop him off at our house after school to play.

Our yard was always protected from the enemy because both boys guarded the premises with their GI Joe weapons. There were never any air attacks because their Star Wars spaceships were always flying high in their imaginations.

Dan’s family lived down the street from us, and when he got older, he was allowed to ride his bike over to our house. Sometimes Dan stayed for dinner, especially when I had lasagna.

He spent a lot of time with us and we accepted him as one of the family. We always celebrated the boys’ birthdays together with both of their names on the cake.

They were like two peas in a pod. Very close friends. There was never a doubt in my mind that their friendship would last forever. To quote Thomas Aquinas, “There is nothing on this earth to be prized more than true friendship.”

When schoolwork became a priority, we would see Dan only once a week. He would call every Friday night precisely at 6 p.m. – never a minute before and never a minute after. He would ask to come over. Sometimes the boys worked on schoolwork, other times they played on the computer or just watched a movie.

When Dan and his parents moved to North Carolina, it really seemed strange at our house when the phone didn’t ring anymore on a Friday night. We would sometimes look at each other and not say a word. Our silent thoughts seemed to say, “I wonder what Dan is doing now?”

But the boys grew into young men and kept up their friendship through emails and phone calls. Sometimes, they actually get to spend some time together when their work schedules and travels permit.

I have to say, I envy the friendship these two have had over the years. I always considered my husband to be my best friend and I feel blessed for that.

I was saddened when a neighbor passed away because she was a very good friend. Some people who were a part of my life and whom I considered to be friends turned out to be quite fickle. A disappointment to say the least.

My husband has an Army buddy with whom he served in Vietnam. They keep in touch at least once a year.

I also have friends who moved away and I hear from them at holiday time. When you’re young, you may have many friends, but as you get older, you appreciate “true” friendship.

Regarding the note from my other son, it reads in part:

“Dear Mom … I have always thought of you as my home away from home. … You shall forever hold a special place in my heart. … Love, Dan”

Kathleen Gurbacki, who lives in Lancaster, has come to appreciate the value of “true” friendship.
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