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Find a Friend - Keep A Friend - Love a Friend

Updated on September 27, 2011 clip art clip art

Recent events not necessarily involving me personally, have encouraged me to revisit the gift that is friendship and the role that good friends play in our lives, especially when our friends help mold us into the people we are today. What makes a friend a best friend? How long can friendships last? What happens when we can do nothing to save our friendship? How can a new friendship evolve into a long-lasting friendship? Which admirable personality traits mean the most to me? Can I spot the makings of a good friendship from a distance? Is it worth the risk of pain to look for lasting friendships?

Circumstances I will detail in a moment, have lead me to ask myself many questions besides those listed above. I'm happy to say my analysis has lead to many positive conclusions about the role friendships play in my life and the life of many around me. I have also concluded that the biggest risk in friendship is not rejection but loss. The following two examples will help you understand why I have reached that conclusion.

My recent reflections can be attributed to two unrelated events and to two totally different people. Since reflection is good for the soul I owe them both a debt of gratitude for the renewed awareness and appreciation they have given me about the true meaning of developing and maintaining friendships for as long as humanely possible.

The Friend I Almost Lost

Many of you know Connie Smith, a fellow hubber. Although she has only been here 4 months give or take, she has made a lasting impression on many of us already. We look forward to reading more of her writings in the future and we probably have different reasons that we've chosen to become a fan of her writing style. Personally speaking, it is no secret that her humor is what attracted my attention to her hubs and made me an instant fan. For others though, I'm sure her writings on various themes and subjects is what drew you in. Regardless of the reason, we all have one thing in common, we like Connie and care about her.

I was shocked, to learn that she had been hospitalized with an almost deadly asthma attack. While I noticed she was missing, I attributed it to her possibly not feeling well, or even perhaps that she had taken a trip and just forgot to tell me. Instead, she was in the Intensive Care Unit fighting for her life, literally.

How does it feel to have nearly lost a friend you've only known "on-line"? It feels awful!

Had it not been for another friend of Connie's who is also here on hubpages who has shown the understanding that only long-time friends can show, I would never have known Connie was even in danger of losing her life. Connie's old friend, a keenly perceptive individual, understood our new friendship was solid enough that I would want to know where Connie was and what happened to her. She has proven she is a friend borne for when there is distress, because she made the right call at the right time with Connie's interest in mind. She took it upon herself to take care of this and notify her friend's new friend, of Connie's medical emergency. I still can't thank her enough!

However, it naturally got me to thinking about on-line friendships, especially newly formed friendships, still in the molding phase. What's the most dreaded thing that can happen in this instance? Is it finding out you are not as compatible as you hoped you would be? That used to be my top concern. Waiting and watching for personality traits that surface after the "honey-moon" period passes to see if the relationship will have what it takes to last. Now however, I think the bigger tragedy is the loss of the potential friend. This experience with Connie has been a painful reminder that everything you thought was secure can change in a split second. One day you could have talked to your "friend" on line and the next second you could be receiving an e-mail telling you that same person is in the ICU and was almost ripped away from you.

I find myself wondering just how quickly on-line relationships should progress. I think I will more quickly determine whether to forge a closer bond based on asking myself this one simple question: "How would I feel if I found out she was sick or hurt?" If I can say I would be upset and would want to talk to her, then it means it is time to get more information of a personal nature. Contact information for just in case. I also decided some type of deadline is in order. A decision of just how long I go without hearing from a person before I get concerned, 2 days, 3 days? Haven't decided on the exact number, but am close to a plan in that regard.

My biggest lesson learned is that on-line relationships can be solitary in nature. I must make sure others connected to me know to contact certain people if anything happened to me. I now know how torturous it would have been to have been in the dark all this time wondering where Connie was and why she hadn't written. I would hate for someone who is an on-line friend of mine to suffer in the same way if something unexpected were to happen to me.

Do you have on-line friendships? Would you want to know if something happened? You might also want to give serious thought to the personal contact info you receive and when it is attained.

I'll be glad when Connie is back home and truly on the mend. I am relieved she is better and I can't imagine finding out I lost her before we got to establish a pattern of friendship that could stand up to the test of time.

Get better soon Connie!

Outside Looking in on One of the Greatest Losses

Which brings me to my last eye-opening, jaw dropping event.

Watching two best friends grappling with a loss they cannot control or prevent. How do you let go of a best friend with dignity, strength and love? I don't think you do let go, I think you fight tooth and nail to hold on to every second that you can remain in your space together forever linked and bonded in a special way and in a place where no one else can reach, and no disease can touch.

I've learned, the short time I have observed this tug of war in action, that what defines life-long friendships are the memories and intimacies that make a relationship special, unique and totally fulfilling for both sides. I have seen first hand how a selfless, ambitious free relationship can easily exist even with two very capable and accomplished individuals. That no matter what type of sickness or disease has the final say, it can be conquered with the type of love that bears up under all hardships and strives to move forward even when evidence of forward movement cannot be detected by the outside observer.

Have you ever had that type of friendship? Have you ever had the privilege of observing the rhythm of a friendship that will never die? Have you ever wondered if that type of relationship can even exist today? If you can answer yes to even one of these questions, then I implore you to allow your heartstrings to be played and tugged by reading of a miraculous friendship of two incredible people I have only recently had the pleasure of meeting. You will quickly understand why they coupled with Connie Smith have inspired this writing and why I have decided to analyze and appreciate the entire blessing that true friendships can bring.

Friendship - the Gift

Pondering the very idea of a friend can take you in many directions, I know it took me quite a few places I didn't expect to go. But in the end, I think it brought me back to the core of the matter, which for me is

  • We were all created with a need and desire to be loved and appreciated.
  • If we find a friend that fills our needs, do what we can to keep that friend.
  • Rejection doesn't hurt nearly as much as the loss of a person you regard as a friend.

I hope we can all be more successful in finding true friends and keeping them once they are discovered.

To my friends featured in this hub, thank you for the timely reminders your experiences have provided. I promise you, the lessons are deeply ingrained in my mind and in my heart and will not be forgotten.


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    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Bobbi, it is a real pleasure to meet you! Thanks for validating my opinion of your sister-in-law. We have actually only talked on the phone a couple of times so your opinion of her is very much appreciated. I'm sure she will love that you left such a wonderful comment. :-)

    • profile image

      Bobbi 7 years ago

      Just read for 2nd time. Connie is my dear sister-in-law. Married to brothers. She is all you think she is and more. Because we lived so far from each other I did not see her often. Since Daves death I have come to know her better. She is an awesome lady. Very intelligent, great sense of humor, full of good common sense, integrity. She is someone I truly admire.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      You are welcome Cathi, thank you for reading it and commenting! :-)

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 8 years ago

      Great Hub! Realistic and compelling! Thanks for writing it!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks very much Putz Ballard!

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      Great hub

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      What a nice surprise lovelypaper. Yes I am doing well and it has been so nice to hear from you. I hope you are also doing well?

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 8 years ago from Virginia

      Although we know each other here on HP only online, I think we develop friendships that are meaningful and it can be hard to lose or miss an HP friend on here if we've gotten to know them through time. I actually intentionally found one of your hubs today, Jen to say it's been a while since I've read you and to tell you I hope you're doing well.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      I agree fastfreta, it is easy to do so when we never meet or at least talk by telephone. That is how some perfer it though, so their on line friendships are exactly what they are looking for.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Very thought provoking. Sometimes we don't think of on-line friends as real people just words and images on a computer, I guess we need to rethink that. Thanks for the insight. I'll be back later to read more.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Nice to meet you ethel smith. Thank you for your comment.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      A very thoughtful hub which has certainly set me thinking.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Ladybird33, I don't mind at all. Thanks for the double compliment of liking the hub and forwarding it. :-)

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Jen, this is a great hub, I need to read this over and over, because it's beautiful! I sent it to a couple of my dearest friends, hope you don't mind because sometimes we all need a reminder about friendship.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Good Morning Duchess, I totally agree, being able to find a good friend who helps you be the best you can be is priceless. Actually, I look for the ability to bring out the best in each other, not just one person helping another. I loved your comment, thank you very much for taking the time to post it!


    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      This was a truly wonderful Hub. What an amazing spirit of giving you show. Friendships are important in people's lives. The friendships we make and take with us help to develop the person we become.

      As I am still working on becoming the person I want to be it certainly doesn't hurt to collect more of those good friends for my journey.

      Thank you for such a heartfelt story Jen.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Right back at ya, Sue! Thank you for your kind words which mean so much to me. Welcome back, I truly missed you!


    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 8 years ago from South Carolina

      What an absolutely beautiful, uplifting hub! You don't just write it, you live and be-live it! Thank you so much for writing, sharing, caring and being a friend to all who are willing to open the door. I appreciate you my friend!

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Yes Katie, you make perfect sense! I see what you mean regarding those who seek friends with no real ties. I suppose the Internet is perfect in that circumstance. Personally, I like the ties that bind and make you want to get to know someone better and keep track of them even if they are all the way in say . . . Colorado ;)

    • KatieE39 profile image

      KatieE39 8 years ago from Colorado

      Hi, Jen. This hub definitely makes a person think. We, as a society, develop such close ties to our online friends, yet have no idea how to get ahold of them in "real life." I think to some their online friends aren't really "real" yet to others they mean as much as friends they have in the physical world. Does that make sense? To some it's a tempory escape from reality, where there are no ties and no responsibility, and to others, like myself and obviously you, they are every bit as dear as if you sat across a table once a week to have lunch and catch up. Keep the interesting topics coming. (-:

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Hi Liciendasky, thank you so much. Sorry I forgot to link to her profile page, but I fixed that now. :)


    • Luciendasky profile image

      Luciendasky 8 years ago from Florence, OR

      Jen, I love your hubs. I once had the opportunity to view a friendship which I am sure will never die and it changed my life. I don't know Connie yet, but I will have to look her up. Thanks for writing.


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