The Understated Value of Community And Lasting Friendships

In the small community in Central Alberta where I was raised, I was part of a band of five “brothers” – close friends whose early lives were intimately woven together by our families, our faith, and our deep and sustaining friendships. We spent our formative years roaming the ravine behind the church, playing games at each other’s houses, sharing meals with each other’s families, causing trouble in the pews during Sunday services, camping together, and becoming Queen scouts together.

Last week one of the last remaining parents of our band died at the age of 91. Four of us attended the funeral (one drove more than twelve hours to get there). It was a reunion of sorts as we had an afternoon after the service to share memories, renew the bonds of friendship, and reminisce about the value of growing up with a profound sense of belonging and stability. The friendship formed within this “band” developed a foundation of character and contributed to an individual and collective identity that will bind us together for a lifetime.

Thank you Ron, Al, Howard, and Doug, and to each of your families for the difference the made in my life.