What Kind Of Friend Are You?

Kirk: Spock!
Spock: The ship… out of danger?
Kirk: Yes.
Spock: Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh…
Kirk: …the needs of the few…
Spock: …Or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?
Spock: I have been and always shall be your friend.
[Holds up his hand in the Vulcan salute]
Spock: Live long and prosper.
Star Trek- Wrath Of Khan

Some of you may not appreciate those final moments in the movie clip above but they are significant to me because they speak of a different sort of friendship. They remind me that there are friends that are important to us and there are friends we love.

It resonates with me more strongly now because within the past few weeks death has taken the fathers of two people that are dear to me. Distance and circumstances prevented me from being at the one service but I won’t miss the second.

G and I met on the first day of kindergarten. It was 1974 and dressed in our finest pairs of Toughskin jeans we started our reign of terror or  tried to. We spent so much time hanging out together it is fair to say that all four of our parents had some sort of role in helping to raise us but now that group is one short.

We lost G’s dad last Friday courtesy of Parkinson’s old age and related infirmities. It happened a bit sooner than anyone expected but I am not sure that matters all that much because most of us never want to say goodbye to our parents.

Parents Are Role Models

I hadn’t thought about it much until recently but G is an awful lot like his father. Not really a shock or surprise to say that, just a reminder of the influence we have on our children. Just a reminder that when I try to teach my children about what kind of friend they should be they’ll watch what I do now.

This is important to me for a bunch of reasons. It is important because G is like a brother. I love that old bastard and still want to kick his ass for moving cross country. It is important because his father meant something to me too. It is important because I want my children to understand that being a good friend means there are times where you drop what you are doing and lend a hand.

It is a topic that the children and I have discussed on more than one occasion. They remember that at G’s wedding I pushed his father’s wheelchair down the aisle. My daughter wanted to know if that meant that I was a nurse and I told her that it meant that his family trusted me to take care of their dad.

Aging is a funny thing.  G’s parents used to own a bunch of rental properties. I have a lot of memories of helping G and his dad fix them up in between tenants. It is fair to say that my own father and G’s dad taught me quite a bit of what I know about tools and how to use my hands to fix things.

So it was pretty surreal to see him in that wheelchair but I never thought twice about giving him a hand. I am sorry for G, his mom and his sister’s loss because their dad was a good guy. But I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I’ll miss him too.

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