DAVAO

Friends for life, treasures for life

WHEN I was in kindergarten, I had a best friend named Grace. She was so kind but when she was transferred to an honors class, we did not communicate anymore. In high school, I had several friends but after graduation, we failed to see each other much. Earlier in my college life, I also found a few good friends, but again I lost them. It was in my later years in college that I found my truest friends Roland, Lera, and Louiza, and amazingly Grace after 10 years without communication.

I can still remember when we were in college taking up nursing. Roland does not like me I can attest. Lera has several friends and I do not belong to that. Louiza has her Daddy, little time for friends, and Grace was like a snob although she was my best friend in kindergarten. But God works amazingly. We are four people with extreme attitudes and yet we have become the closest friends for almost 26 years now.

Roland is always the first person whom I tell about my fears because he is the only one who tells me I can always do great. He knows that I hate Math, but I can write from the heart. He was there on my first, second, and several job interviews, he believed in me so much. We shared the same dreams until I broke his heart when I decided not to work abroad as a nurse. Ahh... he hated me most every time I fell in love. In short, I failed to join him to explore the world. He flew on his wings without me. Friends at times, may not fulfill each other's promises but the promise of being true even miles apart can stay.

Grace, my best friend in kindergarten. I never expected I would find her after years of not seeing each other. She is the strongest among the five of us. Maybe because her father and brother are all lawyers. I can still remember the days and nights where we stayed in your place, all those cries and laughter - God, she was the source of my strength in seeking justice for all my demeaning experiences. And yet I failed to protect her from pain, I am so sorry for not being a good fortune-teller. Friends at times may contribute to your not so good decision which has almost killed you inside but to see the beauty of that pain together can lead to an everlasting friendship.

Lera, the favorite of everyone in our class. She is the only person to give her a full smile even to the person who hates her to death. I remember that time when we are about to have the return demonstration, which I am always not comfortable to do. She was the only one that calmed me and taught me how to do the procedure even if it consumes a lot of her time. And how will I forget -- the times when she accommodated me in their house when I am nowhere to go, alone and devastated. If I must look back, she has saved me many times when I almost drowned. Friends have the inner discipline that can bring calmness to anxiety, worries, and confusion, giving one that feeling of security.

While Louiza is the most loving and prayerful among us. She always reminds everybody that true friends are always together in spirit. With her, you will learn how to value families and how to forgive the people who have caused you great pain. She may appear very private among us all, but she is that person who always finds time to communicate with us. Friends indeed whether they are or not related to you can be your family.

Best friends are truly life's treasures. We cannot deny it, but sometimes they even know us more than we know ourselves. They will stay with us in our darkest times because they will choose to be our fearless shadows and share our greatest moments because they are not afraid but are proud to let us shine. Celebrate then the friends in your life that stay for no other reason than because you are you!


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