I once read someone’s article on a friend a long time ago, I have searched all day for this article online but haven’t found it, so I’m going to write mine, and hope that it would give someone the feeling I had back then, when I read the same thing.
In the story I read, a man talks about his childhood friend, how they had drifted apart somewhere along the line. To schools they went, different schools, and to Jobs they went, different Jobs. Wifes happened, and so did kids, and the tide of life threw them along different paths. Sometimes at work the young man would think, “oh, my friend, he would have said this and that”. Sometimes he’ll recall, and push till later when to give him a call. By and by the story went, each day with the pressure to call and see mounting stronger, until one day the young man receives a post mail. He sees the mail is stamped from the same place where his friend and he grew up. “A letter from his friend?”, he thought, but no, a letter about his friend. Just last week, his friend had passed away. Selah!
The friends you don’t talk to, mail or see are good as dead. For when death happens communication ceases. Why not call your friend and let him know that you are still there and care. Why not spend some time reliving the old days. Why do we spend so much time chasing moving shadows at the expense of the little connections that come with real peace, and ease? Why? Why call when we can talk, or chat when we can see? What investments are you making in your relationships and real friends?
What if you suddenly heard that she died last night? What if you get a call that he passed away in the early hours of this morning. Will you regret how far you had been? Would you weep that he is gone, or will you cry that you didn’t stay in touch? Why not bridge those gaps while it is called today? Why not celebrate your friends while they still got their breaths? Why wait until they are gone before you quote their words, or wait till they are no more to sing their praise. Why not give warmth to your relationships today, why wait till it’s too late? My friend was this my friend was that… what not make it is before it is was? How come the value of people appreciate only when they are fully depreciated? Let’s express ourselves to our friends.
I was thinking earlier in the week, that I can actually tell the story of my life by talking about the friends in my life. I doubt if that will end in one post but here is a start. I’ll omit someone – Temitope Akinyemi, my wife, that’s a friend in another league 🙂
If I would go back to the very beginning of my life, then this person will score as my first good friend. Yemi was my God given benchmark, and I guess I was for him as well. We were born on the same day, in the same hospital, our mothers bore the same first names, our fathers worked in the same place, and we grew up in the same neighborhood. We went to different primary schools, but have gone to the same schools and read the same courses since then. Yemi was an early friend for me, and our friendship was a little bit competitive. Yemi’s friendship gave me the necessary push I needed as a young boy to want to be the best. Be it sports – particularly football or academics, Yemi was a stiff competition for me any day. I didn’t need to compete with the world, somehow, Yemi was always there – we went to the same secondary school, went to the same university, studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering together. We are a lot both grown and matured now, and do not compete as brutally as we once did 🙂 but I respect Yemi Popoola. He is a friend that made an early difference in my life. I and Yemi also got our first Jobs in the same company :). Yemi is in the UK now, consulting for one of the best. So Yemi, I’m not sure I’ve told you this before. Thank You!
This was the next friend that came along. I joke with him that I met him on a table tennis table 🙂 I’m not sure he beat me then, and he’ll surely beat me today – he’s very good now :). We were in the transition between primary and secondary school then. Niyi since then has been a great friend. Not only was he bright and good competition, he was also a great encourager. I and Niyi ended up in the same school and class for Secondary school, and we both further went to Ife – OAU to study Elect/Elect. Niyi is one of those good guys, that despite being good makes you feel great. Niyi is someone who can surpass me in something and I’ll still be happy about. All those guy conversations around -“that girl, Tope, really likes you ;)”, were had with Niyi. Niyi was a friend, a bunk mate, a brother, a real pal. Still is. Distance tears us apart currently and I don’t get to see or hear from him as much as I should, but he has a special place in my heart. Niyi is currently in the UK, he is a Java Specialist and works with one of the Top 100 companies to work for in the world. Niyi, I’ve not told you this before, you are very very valued, and I am deciding also to be a better friend.
I was in SS1 when this friend stepped into my life, he had just come from Calabar to stay with his parents in Ilorin, where I grew up. Somehow there was a chemistry of some sort, we became friends, then prayer partners. I and Kunle have prayed together, fasted together, studied together, done a lot together. Our friendship was deep and had a lot of God in it. Far back as secondary school we went for outreaches to villages together, we preached to groups and crowds together, did deliverance for people together, prayed for the baptism of the holy spirit for people together, and organized events together. We were so close we were like brothers. We were so predictable to each other, it was interesting. Interestingly we only schooled together ever for a year, his SS3 in FGC Ilorin, but our friendship has over time transcended physical location. With Kunle there was no competition, just two young people driving each other to be the best for God. Kunle is a resolute and deep thinking soul. He’s Choleric, he’s melancholic and the Sanguine in him comes out around me. Our friendship has continued till this day, and his contribution to my life has been exceptional. I dare say, a lot of things would have been different were it not for the timely introduction of this friend. Kunle is a minister and is currently also an investment specialist and instructor. Kunle is in Nigeria here. I’m not sure I’ve said this much before, Kunle, I value and love you.
Our friendship started in University. We studied the same course, attended the same fellowship and met. The Chemistry started gradually and then it blossomed. Deji is a rare blend of Sanguine and Melancholy. Deji reminds me of David in the bible, one of the few rare souls that has the capacity to love deeply, to live passionately and to go almost any length. Deji is one friend whose not economical with his expressions, like or hate, he’ll let you know. He loved and loves God, had a liking for me, and we stuck together. Deji was my best man on my wedding, he was there in anything that mattered to me, and I tried to replicate the same. Deji is a friend you want to have as a friend, the melancholy in him makes him choosy, but the sanguine in him makes him get along with anyone once he decides to. He’s the kind of friend who leads the friendship relationship naturally. He calls, he visits, he’s in touch, keeping up with him is a challenge. Deji was also very bright and was competition, but I never felt it going on, we were on the same side. When Deji speaks, it’s memorable, he speaks with well articulated language and with burning passion. Deji is a 100% kind of guy, whatever he does, must be done! While some of us incurable sanguines wait till the last moment to prepare for an exam, and go into the exam without all the facts, the melancholic in Deji will not allow him off with a good conscience. Deji is a friend I miss a lot, he called me one morning after a long time that he had a dream of something happening to me, he’s far but he’s near. He’s rounding up his CCIE and is currently working in the UK. Deji, I love and appreciate you, and understand why you are in the UK.
Tope Ogunfayo, Gbenga Sesan…
… Watch out for part 2.
Till then… appreciate your friends, your acquaintances, your mentors, your teachers… Call them, mail them, send them a text, go visit them, but do it while it is called today!