Do you have a lifelong friendship?
Do you have a best friend who made a significant difference in your life?
Do you make sure to let them know how much they mean to you?
When I was a child, I met a friend at school. She had a lot of things the same as me, both our dads were on the police force, both our houses had pools. But there were also some differences, she had three sisters, I had one brother, her mother stayed at home, mine worked.
I used to go home to an empty house, I had a key around my neck so I could let myself in and then I would sit and wait for my parents to come home from work. My friend would invite me to her house after school and when I would go home with her it would be to a house filled with kids and a world filled with love.
Over the years I became one of the girls and I was treated like a part of the family. When punishments were doled out, I was given my fair share and when love was passed around, I was given more than enough. This family became my base, my comfort and my joy. It strengthened me and taught me how far love can be spread.
Now we are all adults and our lives have each taken a different path. But we still get together as a family to share joys and to share sorrows. They all still embrace me as one of their own as if I was born to them. It is wonderful to have these special sisters to laugh with, to cry with and to go a little nuts with.
No matter how busy she is, or what craziness she has going on in her life, my friend always takes time to support me, encourage me and help me through life's difficulties.
I know my heart is as big as it is today because of all the love she stuffed inside it. I am truly thankful that I have her in my life.
I recognized at an early age how important this friend was to me. Around age 14 I wrote a story special for my friend, I drew some pictures, stapled it together and gifted it to her. It was a story of friendship, a gift of appreciation.
Many years later I decided to put the story into picture book form so others could share in the tale of friendship. I had an 11-year old draw some pictures for me and I published it as a book. Then I celebrated the book launch on my friend's actual birthday.
To my surprise, she still had that first little book I made for her decades ago. I realized then that the little story meant as much to her as her friendship meant to me.
You can get a copy of this friendship tale from the Quite a Character bookstore.
How can you show appreciation to your friend?
Research shows that our relationships are the biggest contributors to our own long-term happiness. Therefore, these relationships need to be honoured.
tinybuddha.com offers six powerful and simple ways to show your friends you truly appreciate them. Not only are these great ways to show appreciation to your friends but also great actions to help teach kids about appreciation.
Prioritize your friends, knowing when they need you and coming through for them.
Communicate with them in a human way, so not just over phone or computer, face to face (and not with distractions of other friends on your phone.)
Believe in your friends and stay by their side.
Personalize gifts (more on that below!)
Ask if you can help them, before they ask for help from you.
Expect nothing in return - do great things for them because they are great.
In a new book series I will be working on, Adventures with my White Cane I am offering a special way to honour a friend - Make them a book character!
These special characters are not just a name in a book, they will embody the person, adopt some of their character traits and they will be created as a cute character that is an important part of the story.
For example, one character that has already been created is Earl Chickie.
To find out more about creating a loved one into a book character click here!
“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
My friend and I have a mutualistic relationship. I'm there for her and she is there for me, as it should be. Check out my blog post on Mutualistic Relationships to see how important it is in any relationship.