Many years ago, after I got married I was sitting on a couch on a hot, humid day, sipping frozen juice during a visit to my father.
As I talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities and obligations, my father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look at me.
"Never forget your friends," he advised, "they will become more important as you get older."
"Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them ..."
"What strange advice!" I thought. I had just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.
Yet I obeyed him; kept in touch with my friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, I became aware that my father knew what he was talking about!
In as much as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends are the bulwarks of his life.
After 50 years of life, here is what I learned:
Life goes on.
The distances increase.
Children grow up and become independent and although it breaks the parents' heart, they are often separated from them.
Jobs come and go.
Illusions, desires, attractions, sex ... weaken.
People do what they should not do.
Colleagues forget the favors.
The races are over.
But true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles away they are.
A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, reaching out to you intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or with blessings for your life.
When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead.
We did not know how much we would need from one another.
Love your parents, take care of your children, but keep a group of good friends.