Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, work shirt and a hat, lawn mower in one hand; and Mom in a house dress, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things: a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, re-heating leftovers, renewing; I wanted just once to be wasteful! Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.
But when my mother died, and I was standing in that clear morning light in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. So while we have it, it's best we love it. And care for it. And fix it when it's broken. And heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriage, and old cars, and children who misbehave at times, dogs and cats with bad hips, aging parents, and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep, like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are some things that make life important, like people we know who are special. And so, we keep them close! So remember: good friends are like stars, you don't always see them, but you know they are always there!