William Shakespeare said life is an “uncertain voyage,” and, as I add more days to my past, it seems the uncertainty grows.
Except for one thing.
Throughout this uncertain voyage, we share experiences. Often, we experience the most meaningful ones with good friends. It is in this friendship that life’s uncertainties can be managed and endured.
I have been most fortunate to have a group of friends I have remained close to since we first met in the 8th grade almost fifty years ago. The warranty on most things doesn’t last that long, yet we have.
Ralph Ezovski, Tony Afonso, Cam Nixon, Clyde Haworth, and I have almost five decades of being friends. During those many years, we’ve experienced the many stages of life.
High school with all it’s cusp-of-adulthood explorations of the trappings of life; girlfriends, surreptitious beers, parties, driver’s licenses, and graduation, followed by college and jobs and marriage and children and all the highs and lows of being human.
The one consistency of life is change. Nothing, no matter how permanent it may seem, remains the same.
The passing of one’s parents is one of those shared elements. For some, that experience came way too early. For others, it was spaced over the course of our friendship. Yet these shared experiences, whenever they occur, are the threads that hold the fabric of our lives together and bind us to each other.
One of the other realities of life is that parents of friends influence our lives even when we don’t realize it. How they raise their children, the expectations they set and the character they mold, affects us all. It is one of my great fortunes to have friends raised by kind, intelligent and most of all caring parents.
Firm when necessary, gentle when possible, and caring about us all.
One parent, Clyde’s father, recently passed away. He enjoyed a long and plentiful life enriched by his family and friends. His manner and example having an untold influence on this group of friends.
For that, we are all the better for it,
It is at these moments we reflect on such things. While no one can alter the passages of life, we can take time to appreciate how fortunate we are to experience them.
Friends are not something one collects or counts. Good friends make this uncertain voyage worth the journey.