Give thanks for friends

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When Clark received his Christmas bonus of a year subscription to the Jelly-of-the-Month Club, Cousin Eddie, that bizarre but good-hearted character in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” described it as “the gift that keeps on giving.” Every year at this time, we all scurry around looking for the perfect Christmas present, the one that will bring delight to the recipient. We look for the gift that keeps on giving.

During the past year, my family, like many others in our county, has suffered great sadness. When we lost Patricia to leukemia, our whole world was turned upside down; I have never known such pain and sadness. In this time of great sorrow, our friends came to us and made certain that we did not drown in our despair. Our friends comforted us through our terrible heartache. Our friends nourished us, physically and spiritually, and made sure that we survived.

With the passing months, my friends have always been there for me. They know that even though the funeral flowers have faded, the pain of loss goes on. My friends keep a watchful eye and are always there for me on the “bad days.” My friends, like the friends of all the others who have suffered loss, do this out of love. Although I try, I cannot adequately express to my friends what they mean to me and how they have helped me, but they already know; after all, we are friends. There is a saying: “No man is the whole of himself. His friends are the rest of him.”

Yes, this year, like every year, we will all be out there looking for the perfect Christmas gift; we will make our lists and check them twice.

But the perfect Christmas gift is the one that cannot be bought at the store. Be a good friend and give of yourself. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas. May your coming year be joyous and full of friends.