Although Cherished Friend typically spends holiday weekends with other friends, due to various circumstances, we were fortunate to have the pleasure of his company for this Labor Day weekend. (This was Good, because when I visited him in Points North last weekend, I left with the distinct feeling that the time had been Too Short.) We played Scrabble as well as a highly competitive game of Harry Potter Trivia. We sat out on the patio with Beloved Husband and Offspring the Third. And he and Beloved Husband and I went for a rather hot, but otherwise pleasant, hike in the nearby mountains. It was Very Nice Indeed.
After Cherished Friend left this afternoon, I sat down to continue the e-mail correspondence I have with an old college friend (hereinafter, "H") with whom I have recently reconnected. I told H about the weekend, including mentioning that a close friend had visited. I thought about trying to explain succinctly the history of how this person became my Cherished Friend: how Cherished Friend has, over time, essentially become part of the family; how much I enjoy seeing Cherished Friend interact with the Offspring and with Beloved Husband; how valuable his company is to me. It was hard to put into words -- and attempting to do so, made me feel both nostalgic as well as wistful for those days when Cherished Friend was nearby. Alas. All the same, knowing that he is now Farther Away, makes me appreciate the value of his presence during these rare occasions when he is here.
It is remarkable that Cherished Friend, whose mind is constantly busy with a thousand different permutations of a thousand different things, can nevertheless manage to be In The Moment when he is here, and to give his undivided attention to us. It is both kind and personally generous of him to do so. He is, as ever, reserved and non-demonstrative, and so any hug I give him must be brief lest I make him uncomfortable or impinge upon his personal space; I hope, though, that in those few milliseconds, I manage to convey to him the tremendous gratitude I feel, for his being my Cherished Friend.