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Charlie was my first friend

Today is a sad day. I learned that an old childhood friend had died. He was a year younger and lived across the street. He was chubby and funny and since I was older, I got to boss him around a little. We played together under his trailer, where the cats did their business, and ran through hay pastures. We rummage through barns and climbed tree houses together. We hunted crayfish in the stream that ran behind my house. Charlie was my first friend and one I shall never forget. He never accomplished the feat of staying overnight with me. Home sick, Charlie would jump out of the bed and run across the street at midnight.

Every year, when I returned to my hometown, I would search for Charlie. It was as if he had fallen off the map. And then, just a few months ago we made contact. We made arraignments to meet in June. I had not seen Charlie in over forty years. I so looked forward to seeing him again, but that meeting will never happen. Charlie died March 2. I didn’t even know he was sick. It’s a sad day.

It’s impossible to predict life events but one thing is certain. Life is uncertain. None of us know how long we will have those we love. Relationships carry a sacred value to them that we must treasure above all else. Everyone we have ever known has changed us in some way and we should be grateful for that.

C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

Do you have a friend you have not seen or heard from in many years? Call them today. If possible, go see them. They may not be here tomorrow. The Bible says our lives are like sparks from a fire that fly upward and vanish. A few more days and we will all be done. Make what you do today count.

Charlie was my first friend and I will never forget him.

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