I can remember when my son, Scott, was young (5 or 6); he would stand and watch the island get smaller as our boat moved away from it. Tears ran down his face. He loved, Avalon on Catalina Island. Although he loved the fishing and freedom, what he also liked was who he was when he was there.

Special friendships are like that, “I love who I am when I am with you.” So, even though you might cherish and adore a dear friend for all they have chosen to be, this reason I’ve spoken about may not be obvious to you.

When someone can see you, witness who you really are, it is a life-giving gift. Feeling invisible is more common than you would realize. We are, each of us, unique and wonderfully individual beings who are smothered by our incessant drive to “fit in,” to “be like them.” An apple cannot be a banana! So when someone comes along who sees our uniqueness, our beauty, we come alive and sigh a breath of relief.

Special friends come to our lives for specific amounts of time. Whether it is old age or how hungry we are to feel seen, it is always painful to let go, to say goodbye. We older folks realize that we might never see our friend again. I wish I had cherished my time with my father more. And there’s that emptiness of a visible connection—though true friends are never disconnected.

Don’t take this time for granted—if you are blessed with the presence of a special friend. Hug them without a reason. Love them because you see them. And,if you need to let a special friend go, put your hand in mine; I know the feeling well.

Share with friends and family.

Scott A. McDaniel photo