I’ve been fortunate enough to have had an extremely close group of friends my entire life. People I have known since before I was 10.
As I have gotten older, I have realized more and more that having a group like this is exceedingly rare, and having one that has been together since we were still learning whether or not cooties were a real thing is a one in a million.
This has led to pretty interesting events over the years as we have gotten older.
As life happens, people move away, and as adults we now find ourselves spread all over the country. Thanks to the massive advances in communication during the last 10 years, we can still stay in contact and know what is going on with each other. First through e-mail, then instant messaging, and of course through social media.
If nothing else, this helps us stay abreast of what is happening in each other’s lives, so when we do get together there isn’t too much, “Wait, you’re doing what now?”
But now the unthinkable has happened. Well, the unthinkable happened two years ago.
When I got married, it shocked pretty much everyone I know. I can be difficult to deal with at times, and finding someone willing to put up with me was amazing. The added fact that I had known my wife since I was 8 made it even more mind boggling.
Our marriage was monumental event among my circle of friends. The crazy guy who once thought it was a good idea to sled through a cemetery is getting married? What is wrong with the world?
My wife and I got married in Seattle.
Of the six men who made up my half of the wedding party, three traveled from Washington, one from Ohio, one from Connecticut and one from another country — Japan.
They shelled out the travel costs, came for one weekend, the most important weekend of my life, and did it with a smile. Those are some amazing friends.
Then the next unthinkable thing happened. I had a child.
With this momentous event in our lives, we once again turned to our group of friends. For my son’s baptism, my wife and I spent all of 30 seconds picking god parents. The decision was a no-brainer.
We decided to have him baptized in Seattle at the same church where we got married, and this required our choice for godfather to fly from Cleveland to attend the ceremony. Which, of course, he did without hesitation or complaint, although he is currently unemployed, couch surfing with his fiancee and looking for a place to live.
Yet when I came calling with an important life event that I wanted him to be a part of, he put aside his responsibilities and stood by my side during what so far has been the most important event of my son’s life.
He was in town for only a few days, and he came for a ceremony that took all of 15 minutes. Now that is a true friend.
I only hope I can begin to repay him in kind when he gets married in May. The trip alone would still have me owing him one, so I think a large van with blacked out windows and a kidnapping plan for his bachelor party are in order.
Then we’ll be even.