You’ve Got a Friend
Many readers of my new novel have written me to say what a good friend I was to Sunshine. In a way, they’re right. It’s not every day a friend asks another to meet once a week, listen to all of the stories from their past, and then promise to write a book based on their life–but that’s what I did. So yes, in many ways I was a good friend to Sunshine.
However, before Sunshine got sick and we began working on her book, I think I could have been a better friend to her. At the end of the new novel I included an open letter I wrote to Sunshine. It was very emotional and difficult to write because I admit my failings as a friend. Looking back I realize I could have been better at calling her back faster, thanking her more, and doing more things with her when she asked.
After much reflection I put together a list of things that a good friend does. It’s a kind of checklist to test how you rate as a friend and how others stack up, too. I can’t go back and change things with my late friend, Sunshine, but I can be a better friend to those around me now. That’s my pledge. If you would like to read the open letter to Sunshine featured at the end of the book, just send me an e-mail and I’ll send it to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT MAKES A GOOD FRIEND?
__ They are good listeners and easy to talk to.
__ They return your calls and reply to your texts quickly and nicely.
__ They are fun to be around and time flies when you’re together.
__ They remember your birthday and other important dates.
__ They cheer you on and celebrate your success. They are not jealous.
__ They are supportive and make you feel good about yourself.
__ They are not judgemental and your friendship is unconditional.
__ They have a lot in common with you, or you both have a passion for the same things.
__ They don’t have to live nearby, and when you don’t see them often, it feels like you have.
__ They don’t bad mouth you behind your back. Instead, they sing your praises to others.
__ They find ways to show they care . . . about you.
__ They’re always there when you need them.
__ They have your back and stick up for you.
__ They are honest and can be trusted.
__ They’re there in good times and bad.
__ They respect you and your time.
__ They give more than they take.
__ They understand you.