This thing called friendship..

By Elsie D. Oghenekaro

My dear friend

Who do you consider your friend and what are the rules of your friendship?
Have you ever drawn up a friendship charter?
Do you have a written or even verbal contract for this relationship
that you talk about so much?
Very often in life we meet people we like that appeal to us in some
way and we add the appellation of “friend”. Then we begin to share our
life with this person; our time, thoughts, money, material goods, even
other relationships. Some of these relationships go so deep; we know
their villages and all of their family members. A few of them even
outlive us and pass on to our children and our children’s children.
Yet very few make it beyond a few blissful years. We go through phases
when we are ‘sure’ this person will be in our lives for ever, and then
‘boom’ one day, we get a transfer letter, a school admission, or a
higher office ( your husband becomes the governor, etc) and suddenly
we realize that our best friend isn’t good enough anymore!
They live too far away, they don’t dress well enough, they speak with
an embarrassing accent, or simply their ‘wahala’ (stress) is too much,
and we put them in the dust heap of neglected and forgotten
relationships, most times never to be resurrected!
How fickle we are! A friendship is a beautiful thing. A treasure beyond measure;
A gift from heaven; a foundation for life and living;
the enriching spice of a well-lived life;
A tonic to soothe life’s aches; and a balm to soften our wounds.
It is a handrail on life’s steep climb, a foothold on the mountains of
life, a stream in the desert of our pilgrimage through life. It is a
cup of cold water on a hot day, a warm drink on a cold day, and a
piece of bread in a hungry stomach……

It should never be taken for granted. It should not be entered into
lightly. Do not abuse it nor misuse it. Do not neglect it. It requires
care, it requires time, it requires nurture, it requires commitment.
It takes from you, oh yes, it does; but it adds to you so much more.
The joy of true friendship comes to those who take time to care for it.

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder, “How well have I taken care
of my friendships? Have I expected too much from them? Have I used
them as crutches instead of hand rails? Have I serviced them better
than my cars? Have I cleaned them as well as my clothes? Have I been
proud of them? Have I called them for no reason? Have I given them
room to grow? Have I ever put on paper how much they mean to me? Have
I forgiven them for the times they have not lived up to my
unreasonable expectations? Have I given them the opportunity to show
their love? Have I begrudged them for not being able to do the
Questions and more questions.
Sadly, I find myself guilty of all and more.
If you are my friend reading this; if I have ever called you friend,
please as you read this, forgive me. There is a lump in my throat and
unshed tears in my eyes, for I have never told you how empty your
place in my heart would be if you were not there. I have never taken
the trouble to tell you that you are my friend no matter what…

Elsie Oghenekarocropped-midnight-essays.jpgMidnight Essays is available on

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