Those “one-of-a-kind” friends

I know some of you have many more friends than I do. I can hardly compete with Facebook. It seems like everyone has 500 or more friends these days. Add an Instagram account, or any other social media platform and the number climbs. But how many of us have really close friends, those ones we often refer to as our “best friend” or even as our “brother” or “sister,” but with no actual “blood” connection? Those friends that when the &F$#! absolutely hits the fan, are right there waiting to pick you up. I can tell you from my personal experience, and from the experiences of those that I have interviewed throughout my life, not that many. And I am not talking about your own immediate family, even if mom, dad, brother, or sister is your very best friend (there is nothing wrong with that by the way). If you can list 5 friends that would do anything for you, from taking a bullet, to wiping your *^%!, then I would say you are pretty special, because most people cannot do that.

So today, I thought I would give a shout-out to a friend of mine who I have known for nearly 14 years. I do this so that you can reflect on those friends in your life who you have had a special connection with. Perhaps my Blog today will help you refresh that friendship with an actual phone call, personal letter, or even that extra special text message to tell that person just how grateful you are to have them in your life. For a lot of us, telling someone we love them is taboo. It is not accepted as a macho thing. For most of the ladies out there, it is no big deal, and I would encourage all of you to keep it up. You continue to set good examples for us men. But for many of us men, those three words are often hard to spit out.

“Little A” was one of my first roommates on a moving city—also known as CVN-76 or the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. We checked into our first fleet squadron together—both very wet behind the ears after flight school. He had a wonderful personality that was magnetic. Even at only 5 feet 7 inches (and that is pushing it!), he could find his way into any group. Kind, loquacious, and committed. He desired to make a difference. The product of divorce (rings true for many of us), he was essentially an only child. He missed out on a lot of nurturing that would be expected during childhood, but you would have never known it.

At one point I watched him fall in love (deep love), and then lose that love. He fought for it, and the lesson learned was that you cannot control the emotions of another human being, no matter how hard you try. It took awhile, with a little help from some others along the way, but he eventually grew from the experience.

After three years we were forced to go our separate ways, and he and I had long stretches in between visits and phone conversations, but we could pick up where we left off within minutes. If you can do that with a select group of people, then the odds are they hold a special place in your heart.

And who can forget the time he climbed on top of a grand piano at what was known as my “second wedding.” Or in South America where he earned the callsign “Tuck.” The memories that we have with our very special friends are the ones we will surely never forget.

He is one of the smartest, most well-read, and genuine souls I have met in my short time on this planet. He has helped me to see the light on more than one occasion. I owe him for inspiring me to keep going, and to not let up.

If you have that “one-of-a-kind” friend who you have not connected with for awhile, then what are you waiting for. Nothing in this life is guaranteed, and who knows you might just be the one to brighten his or her day.

Sending love your way “Little A.” And to everyone else who took the time to read this, I say thank you. Go out and make today special. Continue your personal growth journey. Don’t slow down at the finish line, but instead pick up the pace, and keep making life happen.

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