Sunday, February 27, 2011

Death, Taxes and Friends

This post was originally written last February.  With all the recent tragedy in our local area, we always need friends.  Here is the story of a 40-plus year friendship.  Enjoy!!!!

As the old say goes, there isn't much in life you can count on except for death and taxes.  Well, maybe we could start adding friends to the list.

I grew up in a small coal mining community in central PA and make my home nearby today.  While growing up the coal was pretty much gone but not the way of life.  While growing up the men worked some blue collar job, the women stayed home or worked in a garment factory and life was pretty much the same for everyone in the neighborhood.  School, church and several generations of family living close by were the norm.

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of attending a funeral for man that reached age 97.  I had been a family friend for over 30 years and time in a busy schedule gave me the opportunity to attend.  There is always something you could learn at funeral and yesterday wasn't any different.

Yesterday was about friendship.  Two friends were there for each other, but on the surface they couldn't be more different.  One ventured out and went to college.  The other sought employment after high school.  One never got married, while the other has been in with her high school sweetheart for over 30 years. (Does it seem that long.)  One has a child while the other has gone this far without a child.  Ironically, they went to different high schools in the same town.

You know people so long you forget how different people met.  Yesterday, I found out how these two life-long friends had the chance to meet.  It was something very simple like the first day of kindergarten.  To protect the innocent, I will not say who was crying and who wasn't.  One girl comes home from kindergarten and tells her mommy school is great but there is another girl in my class that cries all the time.  Mommy suggests to her little girl that maybe the other little girl needs a friend. 

"Maybe you could be her friend," says the mommy to her little girl?  In little time, they find out they live around the block from each other and the rest is history.  They remained friends despite forging two completely different trails in life.  Two people forging a friendship that has last over 40 years and being their in there in one's most time of need, the death of a loved one.

We can always count on death and taxes in this life, but a best friend can be forever!!!

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