I am fortunate to still have friends from my childhood and teenage years. In some years we have shared our lives and traveled the same part of the road forward and in other years, we have lost touch with one another for months. The most prominent feature of a long-standing friendship is the ability to pick up the conversation where you left it so many months ago.
Some of my friends have suffered profound loss in their lives, of parents, spouses, children, their own good health. But we know each other very well. We try to lend an arm to each other on the journey. It helps to know what gives your friend pleasure and what frustrates them. My friends are great observers.
One friend sent me goofy get well cards everyday when I was recovering from major surgery. I laughed until I was finally better.
Another friend proposed a day of learning drawing outdoors with an artist whom we both admire as a great teacher. My first effort was just awful. Had I lost the ability to draw from life? I just needed a few reminders from the great teacher and I was on my way again.
When my beloved Dad died, one friend remembered with me some of my dad's acts of kindness with others. I smiled for the rest of the day.
Friends just know how to help.