Friends are a life changer and I am grateful I now get that

A sensational story on ESPN’s web site this week  put a bounce in my step because it reinforced the glories of friendship in our lives. Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are long-time baseball buddies and now they are broadcast partners for the Giants. Their friendship bond is undeniable as you read their story.

Things have been complicated in recent years because Krukow developed a muscle disorder called body inclusion myositis. Krukow’s life has been complicated but not the friendship with Kuiper.

I think if you read that story  you will be moved, not only by the Krukow-Kuiper friendship, but by every friendship that marks your own life. I was.

Of course, I have many regrets about my wife Jean’s death, but a huge one is that she missed the outpouring of friendship by her friends, our friends, my friends and our children’s friends. Tragedy and sorrow often bring out the best in the people close to you just like Krukow’s illness has prompted Kuiper to be an even better friend than before.

The words, actions and support of my friends has, without question, been the secret to my hope and faith that better days lie ahead.

I hope I have always appreciated my friends but the last three months have made me conscious of their goodness and value on an almost daily basis. As I go through the process of overcoming grief I try to remain focused on nurturing and tending those friendships. The question I ask myself every day is “Am I being attentive to those friends needs and am I doing for them what they did for me.” That’s not because friendship should be a quid pro quo but because the way to keep those friends is to constantly show them they are valued.

The most tragic event of my life has made me more appreciative and more comfortable that friendship is the lifeline we all need to survive the sorrows we find on this spaceship we call Earth. Grab on to yours and hold them tight.



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