"In times of need, there is no better companion to depend on than friendship in the wings. At the heart of lasting friendship lies a reliance on truth, trust and unqualified love; qualities that will never break the bond of deep affection that bind souls together.
No friendship is ever an accident. Friends are people to whom you can turn for help and honest opinion in times of need. They are the family we choose, the ones with whom we are most comfortable in either silence or boisterous and outlandish behaviour. I would sooner turn to a friend for help before resorting to a priest, a course of therapy or a piece of cake.
Whether they stand behind or in front of you in line, a true friend will always stand beside you in times of trouble. You won't need to ask for their help, as they will be the ones there when others aren't.
I have known friends keep each other's secrets from the past that they would never reveal to any other, not even man or wife. Such secrets they will take to the grave before give them up for prurient discussion.
My mother often told me as a child that, 'Good friends are few and are hard to come by, Billy. They must never be taken for granted and if you're wise, always keep them close to your heart and cherish them.' My mother never read any Shakespeare to the best of my knowledge, but her advice to me was summed up in one phrase in Hamlet, when upon speaking about friendship, Polonius advises Laertes, 'Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.'
There are so many sayings and thoughts out there about what a true friend is and for each of us, there will be some subtle differences and it will mean different things. For me, a true friend is no less than God incarnate; they represent all the goodness that is required to 'Hold you up' when you are in greatest danger of falling down as the song below frequently reminds me." William Forde: May 2nd, 2016.