Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who's got your back?

Watched the show NCIS last nite. And yes, I know it's TV, duh... Anyway situation had a team member leave and the final scene showed the rest of the group looking at her empty chair. The actors did an good job of conveying a very real sense of loss, a void that would be difficult if not impossible to fill.

Fast forward to 'real life'. The average person doesn't deal with James Bond thriller situations: murder, espionage, or intrigue on a regular basis, if ever. . Back in the 'burbs we all hope/assume we have people around us who care for us, who love us in spite of ourselves. People we can trust. Y'know - the people we can always count on to 'have our back'.

My cousin Joe spoke at his father's funeral about a conversation they'd once had. His dad, Rod, told Joe that he considered him to be his best friend.

Joe recounted that Rod told him, "You know, I don't have many friends".

That remark brought the house down, everyone started laughing - because the place was packed. Literally. Standing room only. People were hanging in the chapel doors and backed up outside! Now, Rod was not a perfect man but, he was a charming man, fun loving, thoughtful. The entire community turned out for his passing and we laughed because we all loved him - no friends indeed! I, for one, know his passing left an empty place.

Unfortunately I know exactly what Rod meant.

There are acquaintances, friends and then there are 'best friends'. Related or not. The handful of people you trust with your fragile beating heart. The ones who hold your soul. The ones you love unconditionally. The ones you'd throw yourself in front of a truck to save. The ones you give everything you've got to. The ones you care enough about to be honest with..."

And then, you find it's not enough. It's "thank you very much, but, to all of that. However, you can hang around as long as you make yourself useful..."

God, it's a lonely world.

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