Don't take your friends for granted

By Simone Severo

Yesterday I went to work out with some friends and while we were on the treadmill I was asked "what are you going to do today"? I answered "I am going to be a good friend, whatever that means". I planned to visit a friend of mine who was carless for the day and help in whatever I could.

I had a wonderful day in her company, and was able to share he happiness when her daughter came to visit unexpectedly. I felt in my heart this happiness of being a witness of such  a moment. Her eyes where shining. We went out for lunch. Chinese. Then her son showed up as well. Happy moments. Priceless, really.

The more I get to know my friend Tara, the more I love her. It always makes me think about people who call everybody a "friend".

I don't take my friends for granted, as my mom taught me that friends are "the family you can choose". I am the one responsible for the people I let in my life or out of my life. At least in what concerns friendships.

Friends are the ones who visit you. Or remember to call you once in  while and make sure you are alive. The ones who are connected with you even at great distances. The ones you remember the birthday or feel sad if you missed it. The ones you care for and care for you as well. People you know, like and trust, and are wiling to go there and visit, help, hang out with. 

Friends are like Carla Valduga, who came to my life when I was 21 and has been in my thoughts every day when I wake up. Friends are like Luciana Tieppo, who only did one class with me in college (she was going to be a judge - which she is today - I was studying languages) and became my sister in life. Friends are like Danilo dos Santos, Miguel Ferreira, whom I have known since I was 11 years old, and make the point to go see me anytime I go home. I cheer for them, I pray for them, I wish them the most joyful moments and share life at a distance.

Friends are like Tara, who helped me to move so many times I owe the universe to help others in return because I won't have enough years to return the good she has done to me. Or like my 4th sister, Lis Oliveira, who I adopted as a sister in my childhood, and is always there for me. I love my friends with all my heart. They are just like family.

Facebook and other social media has made lots of us "instant friends" but they really are not your friends until there are reciprocity and you feel you are involved with each other. Friends take time. Relationships take time.

The more time goes by, the better it gets for friends. You know them better, you are part of more events and you share more things. Sometimes, friends go through hard times and you are there for them. Sometimes friends change. And it is ok when friends change. It is part of growth.

There will be temporary friends in life, who come and go before you realize what was their purpose in your life. There will be those you know will be your friends until the end of times and beyond.

Today I wake up and thank for my blessings and remember my dear friends who are close and those who are far. I share a piece of my heart and whish you don't take your friends for granted. You can have many acquaintances, but real friends are those you can count in your fingers. Or call at 3 am and talk with. And they know you would be there for them in everything you could.

I say today is a day to call some of the ones I have not called in a while just to say I love them.