Mike was my best friend. He was nice, unassuming and we had a lot in common. He lived in my apartment complex when I was 10 years old. Then like all good things, our friendship came to an end.
One day he told me he was moving, not across the country but across town. When you’re 10 years old that might as well be across the country – right? We said our goodbyes and exchanged phone numbers with the promise to stay in touch.
Mike and I scheduled a hangout shortly after he moved. Funny, back then we didn’t call it a “playdate” or “hangout” we just did stuff.
It was the big day, Mike and I were going to hangout. I was going to meet him at the park which was a 20 minute bike ride from my apartment. So I got out of bed, ate breakfast, got dressed and hopped on my bike. Soon I reached my destination and waited, and waited, and waited. Mike never showed up and we never spoke again.
I remember feeling sad, slightly rejected and questioning the authenticity of our friendship. Maybe his dad didn’t let him come, maybe he forgot, or maybe he just didn’t follow through. I’ll never know.
I share this story with you because at this stage in my life I often felt alone. Both my parents worked, I was an only child and I didn’t make friends easily. So suddenly losing a close friend was a significant loss. You might say I was looking for something or someone to provide a little stability in my life. Know anyone like this?
The truth is you might have someone just like me living next door or down the street. Someone who doesn’t have the companionship of siblings or the attention of his or her parents. Now I realize as parents our own children are our primary responsibility. But, at the same time, is too much to take notice of those kids who are looking for something they aren’t getting at home. Of course we must be careful not to over step our bounds but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to play a little catch, give them a cold drink or simply talk to them.
I know the importance of this first hand because there was such a person in my life, his name was Lou Messina, my friend Eddie’s dad. He worked hard to provide for his family but he always found time to take us to the ballpark, buy us Slurpees and give advice. And here I am 30 years later reminiscing about how much that meant to me – It meant the world.
This week, open your eyes and your heart to someone who could use some healthy interaction and encouragement. You never know, you might just make a positive difference in someones life that will stand the test of time.
Like what you read? Please share it with your friends.