"This week I received a Facebook friend request from Tony Walsh from Carrick on Suir, County Tipperary. The fact that Tony has been a friend of mine for sixty years and we haven't had contact for nearly ten, made the contact all that more special. Last year I made contact through Facebook with five friends with whom I went to school over sixty years ago, three friends who I worked with in my teens, two old girlfriends and over one hundred people who knew my mother and grandparents in Portlaw Waterford, Ireland where I was born and one hundred and thirty people from Windybank Estate where I lived between the ages of nine and twenty six who knew me growing up or were friends with my parents.
Good friends help you find important things when you've lost them. The friends listed above helped me find some of my heritage and family roots, but mostly they helped me find happy memories of good days past. Like the stars above, you don't always see good friends for many years, but you know they are there in your background.
Our friends are special to us for many reasons. All the friends who knew me as I grew up on Windybank Estate are special because they know what I did and got up to in my wild days and they still love me. They know all my stories and a few (some still alive and some deceased), even helped me write them. Though I have not seen many of them since my youth, I know our bond of friendship was strong enough for them always to think well of me and if necessary, defend me in my absence.
The language of friendship is all encompassing; it has no words to adequately describe it, it is all meaning. All friends are different, both in the type of experiences they are prepared to share with you and the length of time they are prepared to keep your most embarrassing of secrets, like Geoffrey Griffiths (now deceased) a juvenile partner in crime and numerous wicked deeds, or Silvia (last name protected for all eternity), who shared with me at the age of ten, that vital body organ which enables women to give birth to babies that men do not possess. In short, a good friend will help advance your understanding considerably. Through one helpful act and small revelation, Sylvia removed my ignorance upon the most delicate of subjects like no other would. However, a best friend like Geoffrey was prepared to go much farther. Geoffrey would have helped me move a dead body, if needs be, and bury it in the deepest recess of his memory bank and more latterly, in his grave!
Then there are the friends who have the courage to hurt you once in a while, and you must forgive them for that when they do. I do not speak of those 'pretend friends' who will know your partner to be cheating on you, but will never tell you and thereby allow you to continue living a lie. I refer instead to the true friend who is prepared to hurt you with the truth, even at the expense of risking your friendship. This type of friend believes such silences between you to be no longer comfortable and believes that any friendship that ends at the first sign of discomfort never really began.
A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you, even when you are fooling everyone else. They are the one who is there for you in the early morning hours when you cannot sleep and phone them for a chat. Such friends believe you without need of explanation and are there for you night or day, because you need them. Wrap such friends around you with hoops of steel, keep them forever close and nourish their friendship, for they represent the rainbow between both your hearts; they are the one that faithfully reappears after each of life's storms that pass through your life.
All best friends are good friends to have, but when a person becomes their own best friend, life becomes much easier to navigate and happiness and contentment are more often stored" William Forde: March 12th, 2016.