It is 00:52 on Satueday morning. I am going to write this blog, then drink myself to oblivion. Today I learned a very harsh lesson. Let me explain.
Today I spent the day with my three dearest friends. One I have known since I was four years old. I can't remember the last time I exchanged an angry word with him. Whenever we meet it is always a joy and the only regret I have (and that is shared) is that we don't meet enough. We both have families and we have neglected our friendship. The second friend I have known since I was seven. We were alter servers togther at the Sacred Heart Church as kids. We went to the same secondary school and both developed a love of music and football together. Although he is a Chelsea fan, we've never argued about football. We have however argued about other issues and until today had not met for fourteen years and until last monday hadn't spoken to each other for twelve years. In fact until a last monday, we were not on speaking terms. The third friend I have known since I was seventeen. He was the bassplayer in my band for 28 years. He was the most musically gifted and good looking bloke I'd ever known. We never exchanged a cross word. Yesterday for the first time in my life, I held his hand and told him I loved him. Today he died.
Three dear and beautiful friends. Each one taught me a lesson today. A lesson I hope I'll never forget. My first friend taught me that we should never, ever take our friends for granted. We should ring them up, invite them for a beer. Have a chat. We should never say "it's been too long". Mys econd friend taught me that if we love people, we should never cast friendships aside. It took a terrible situation, where we were both forced to confront the stupidity of our behaviour, to realise that true friendship has a depth which is unfathomable. My third friend taught me that we shouldn't have to wait until the final hours of our friends lives to let them know our feelings. As I held my friends hand, his beautiful girlfriend held his other hand. We both loved him, her as a partner, myself as a dear friend. When the word "love" is used, the tendency is to snigger and draw the conclusions. True love is not about sex, money or jealousy. It is about being glad someone is in your life and hoping they never leave it.
Yesterday I learned something. It was the harshest lesson of my life. I learned that love is something that transcends death. I only wish that it hadn't taken the death of one of my three dearest friends to learn it. Ring that friend you haven't spoken to in ages, sort out your differences and don't wait until it's too late to do all of this.
And now the red wine......