Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friendship: Guest Post #2

I’m continuing to explore the theme of friendship with the help of some writer friends. Friendship is a central theme in the story I’m working on right now. If you'd like to chime in on the theme or have something to say regarding friendship please feel free to comment.

My next guest blogger is Dean C. Rich: Dean has been married for 27 years and has five children a daughter-in-law, and one grandson.  He blogs about time management and writing over at The Write Time and can be found on Agent Query Connect as DC Rich.  He has written four complete manuscripts and is currently working on making the first book in his trilogy a standalone story.  Stop by and see what he has to say at his blog and follow him there and on twitter as @deancrich.

And here’s what he has to say on the topic:


The old cliché states “Friends you can choose but family is forced upon you.”  BFF is such a cool text word – Best Friends Forever.  Friends help the day and weeks go by.  Friends help to make life better.  Friendships are dynamic relationships.  Sometimes they are fantastic, and other times differences cause conflicts, and how you deal with the conflicts determines character, and if the friendship survives.

I ran across this poem and I think it illustrates the point better than what I’m trying to say:

If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too
busy to give you any time.
If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than an poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no
prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics,
THEN, my friend, you are almost as good as your dog.

Author Unknown

When I was still in high school I had a great friend.  He and I did a lot together.  Then he moved.  We wrote letters and kept in contact… for awhile.  Then we lost contact.  I knew he moved to Virginia, but that was all I knew.

Life went on.  I married my best friend.  She and I have five children together.  We’ve been married for 27 years now.  Our friendship has matured.  We can look at each other and know the mood of the other, if we need to talk, need to go for a walk.  Or gasp, be left alone. 

We’ve moved to different states twice now.  We’ve kept track of friends and touch base, but life is so busy and hectic that we do well to keep in touch with old friends in the old places we moved away from.
Then I discovered Facebook.  I did some searching for my high school friends, found a few of them, but my best friend was still gone.  I went and signed up on my high school page.  Sent a few messages to old acquaintances, caught up on news, and then back to my own life and family.

Family and friend relationships all have to be nurtured. So I’m up to date with my old friends, but my current family and friends take most of my time. I’ve made new writing friends on line and I’ve been developing relationships with all of them.    

About a year ago I got onto my Facebook page and saw my old high school friend’s name in the friend request box. I clicked it and did some looking. He had managed to leave a trail on the internet and I uncovered his phone number. I made the call and when he answered I asked if he was in fact my friend. I could hear the joy in his voice as he made the connection that after all these years we were on the phone together.  He too had gone onto Facebook and gone to our high school and found my info.  And then waited three weeks for my response!  (I don’t go onto Facebook very often!)

We spent several hours catching up with each other. We still talk about twice a month on the phone. Our friendship is still there. But relationships take nurturing. For great friendships we have to be great friends ourselves. 

Family may be forced upon you, but family can be your best friends as well. What makes for good family relations also work for friendships. The nice thing about long lasting relationships is the feeling of being safe with those you are closest to. My wife and I talk about all sorts of things. We enjoy our children and family outings. Those wouldn’t happen if we weren’t also friends. 

My time with my friend whom I spent 30 years looking for, and he looking for me as well is still valued. We have a lot of differences, and don’t agree on everything, but we agree our friendship is important. We make time to talk with each other. We keep each other posted. Yes we still talk about things we enjoyed in high school, but we also talk about our wives, and what we do that irritates them, but we don’t know why those things do. But we share. 

However, just like the dogs who are unconditional friends, we too need to be able to be a friend through good times and the bad. If it wasn’t for good friends there are events in my life I wouldn’t have been able to deal with. A great friend is made, and nurtured. Lifelong friends are jewels to be cherished. 

Relationships take work and should not be taken for granted. As Clarence the angel who was looking for his wings wrote in Tom Sawyer’s cover page to George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life: 

Dear George,

Remember no man is a failure who has friends.

Thanks for the wings!

If your dog can be a great friend, then you can do better.  Helping others, listening, and working are the keys to being and having great friends, and long lasting relationships.

Dean C. Rich


  1. A heartwarming post!

    Thanks, Dean and Joyce. ;)

  2. Oh that's great stuff. Makes me want to call my old high school friend :)

  3. Aw, sweet post.

    I recently reconnected with my high school best friend on Facebook. She's in Colorado and I'm in California. The internet makes the world a little smaller and that's a wonderful feeling.

  4. Hello! I think it is a total trip when you find someone from elementary school. A couple years ago I found a buddy who had always been really small, picked on a lot, and not able to defend himself. Now he is a big strong guy with no neck who has survived three humvees blowing up underneath him while serving as a marine in Iraq.

    As for who I am? I was referred to this site by Nicolle Raty, who made the beautiful backdrop. I work with her at the Home Depot. My name is Daniel.

  5. Daniel--it's funny how people change over the years, isn't it? Reminds me of a song by Amy Grant about our assumptions of people changing when we see where they've gone later in life. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Angie,

    Managing to stay connected is great! Great relationships are an important part of life. Glad you've managed to hook up with an old friend.


  7. my dear friend, you have always had a way with words.

    you have always, and forever shall be my friend!

    i really cant express the depth of my feelings of friendship for you. btw you are still one of my favorite authors.

  8. Hey Anonymous!

    You found me, again. Thanks for dropping by. Hope to get my books published and then you can be my main PR guy!

    Isn't friendship grand?

  9. Dean,

    I remember back in 1982, I was working at the time for JOB Operating in Shreveport LA, cracking GAS into propane etc. At that time I worked the swing shift it was late and I was missing my friend. I could remember your address in GA (This was the last known address I had for you) I stayed on the phone all night trying to find you. I called directory assistance in all the major cities and towns where I thought you might be. To no avail, you where lost. I tried many other times to find you through the years, but the result was always the same. I had even hired a PI and he couldn't locate you.

    The years mounted and then one day I thought to myself. Facebook! there you was! Yay after 30 years! I'm still very happy, my wife is glad I found my old friend. She giggles at me when we are chit chatting on the phone, she told me last time "man you really are a geek! :)" Shall we continue our Chess game now?


  10. I think we will need to start a new game, I lost where we were on the last one!