After sixteen years together, my partner Chuck and I were married in February in a private ceremony. Just last week we hosted a public celebration of our marriage with friends. Although we thanked our guests for coming we realized afterward that we neglected to tell them how important they are to us and how truly grateful we are for their presence in our lives. So we sent them the following message:
“There are rituals and rings to celebrate couplehood; but friendships, which are no less important and more enduring than many marriages, are seldom recognized in an intentional and public way. We depend on you, just as we strive to be caring friends on whom you can depend. In this life of suffering, delight, praise, blame, gain and loss, we acknowledge our need to belong with and to you.”
Without friends our lives (including our marriages) are a heavy burden to bear. Friendships, like marriages, need to be cultivated, appreciated, and celebrated. Take time this week to call or send a card to a friend to let your friend know that you care. A dear friend, as with a spouse, is a lifelong gift to be treasured.