Friends

Pam and I had problems. After fourteen years of marriage, she left. Since then, we have skirmished and fumed and feuded in minor ways.

Our daughter Zoe plays softball. A few weeks ago, at a state championship tournament when tension was high I hollered something I won’t bother to defend. And another parent, whom I had considered a friend, told me to hush, in hardly a friendly manner.

That evening, Pam emailed the other parent and asserted that he had no business chastising me. She praised my character at length and in ways a guy would be proud to have as a eulogy.

At the risk of being considered an overage adolescent, I’m going to reference two young adult works to help explain my gratitude.

In the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, following the death of Harry’s opponent in the Tri-Wizard tournament, Professor Dumbledore addresses the Hogwarts community: “Today we acknowledge a really terrible loss. Cedric Diggory was as you all know . . . most importantly a fierce fierce friend.”

When I read Pam’s aforementioned email, I recalled those words and felt mighty fortunate to have such a fierce supporter.

Many if not most of us writers are introverts, and consequently often viewed by others as aloof or “unfriendly”. And we spend lots of time alone (or at least we try to). So as a rule, friends are harder to come by and hang onto than they are for friendlier people.

Today I came upon a quote by S.E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders (a favorite of my big daughter Darcy): “If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky.”

Thanks, Pam.

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