Friends Are “Like Family” To Me…

A Former Astor Student’s Reflections On Friendship

While I left home when I was sixteen, I can say that I was never lonely because along the way, I met great friends who I consider family!

Children huggingIt’s a puzzle when I consider my friendships. The first person I considered a friend after leaving Astor for Boston is also an Altar Boy like me.

Amazingly and coincidentally he is related to a former Astor resident I knew while I was at Astor. His family eventually moved but as a former resident at Astor, I had already been accustomed to friends coming and going into and out of my life.

Old Friends

It wasn’t until my high school years before I made another friend. We remained friends through college and 30 years later my son bears his name as well as the name of another friend I met during the war in Vietnam, who was my best man at my wedding six years ago. We still are friends and the fact he lives overseas has not hampered our relationship yet it continues.

handsI have a brother, I loved him but we weren’t friends. I could never understand it.

Maybe because he was younger and didn’t need me, he had his friends. I’m not sure if I ever felt I knew him well enough to be friends.

After he passed away I found that he considered us as good friends, though it always seemed to be just a friendly relationship. It bothers me there was never more. We had plenty to share and cherish, yet there was this wall beyond which lay a shared unspoken secret and bond, buried and forgotten, from times before I was rescued by Astor Home, that always kept us connected. My son carries my brothers’ name as well.

Lastly I have three friends I have known since the early eighties, my travel buddies –Vegas, Mexico, New York, Rio. We don’t speak to each other often, but when we do it always seems we pick up our friendship exactly where we left off.

My penchant for wanderlust forced me to make new friends all over the world, which is easy for me. All accepted me like family, so over the years I always treated my friends as family; sometimes it’s not the best relationship but it’s always ‘more than just friends’.