Monday, July 14, 2008

Friendship and its Value

After supper one night I took a book out of grandpa's library, laid down upon the carpet in the living room and began reading it. I came across a passage about a third ways through that made my face turn red. I quickly looked around to see if anyone caught my embarrassment. I caught grandma quickly look back at her knitting but with a grin on her face so I knew she caught me but she said nothing. I went back to reading and reread the passage once more because it didn't seem to read right. This is what it said,

“She had been used before but never felt this way. The first time was by a man who her father had called friend. He had found her alone at home one day and took her by force after she invited him inside the house. She was doing the chores that her father assigned to her. Her father had gone to town for supplies. Her mother died in childbirth. She thought of her father then and knew within herself that he had never gotten over her mother's death. It had made a bitter man out of him.

When her father returned home that evening she told him what happened. Her father just looked at her, said nothing, and just started to put away the supplies. She felt she had lost something very precious that day but not another word was said about it between the two of them.

One day, while in town with her father she overheard talk. They had found the man beaten to death. And from the looks of him, he had taken a long time to die. his face was unrecognizable and from the marks on his body it could be seen that he died of internal bleeding. The man who did it knew exactly what he wanted to do and did it methodically and slowly. When asked, her father's only comment was,

"he was and still is my best friend, but, you are and will always be my daughter."

She then stole a glance up into this man's face. This man was a lot like her father in this way, "once a friend always a friend" was their motto. And each dealt with friendship as the situation demanded of them, her father with his friend, this man with his friend back in town. In that instance she knew that both men felt they had lost a very special gift.”

I was mystified by this passage and asked grandpa if he understood what it meant. He took the book and read the passage silently and when he finished he handed the book back to me and just sat there quietly for the longest of time it seemed. Then he got up and answered in a whispered voice, “yes, I do.” then without saying more he walked away. I was about to ask more when I saw grandma shaking her head out of the corner of my eye. I kept quiet realizing that I had drudged up old and painful memories.


tweetey30 said...

Wow what a powerful message that gives a person Griper. I am glad you didnt ask any further questions if it brought back painful memories for him. But glad you asked the questions you needed asking though..

The Griper said...

stories at times are the best way to learn of life, tweety. for, at times it can depict situations that we never dream about getting into. and we can either learn a lesson or judge. life gives us that choice.

Crian said...

Hey Griper, stories are indeed quite precious but it is a shame in the current day and age that kids read less and less, stories are passed down even less than that so what are we learning? I remember doing a project on my grandmother before she died, listening to all her stories, it gave me perspective on the life that I now live. Great post as always.

The Griper said...

we agree again, my friend. lol of course we could blame all the technological advances for this lack of reading but technology does not prevent us from reading. as to what we are learning? the only answer i can come up with is that we are learning to make the same mistakes that were made in the past.

Anonymous said...

Griper, this is indeed a powerful story.

Finds me wondering what memories this brought up for Grandpa...

The Griper said...

he grins at karen. i leave that up to your imagination, little one. lol

Gayle said...

I came over here to soak myself in some of your pearls of wisdom. Okay, I feel soaked now. :)

My imagination says that this story may have had more meaning to grandma than it did even for grandpa.

Crian said...

I think I have mentioned to you that I am the eternal optimist but when you said: "...we are learning to make the same mistakes that were made in the past..." it reminded me of a long series of books entitled the "Wheel of Time" by Robert Jordan a sci-fi/fantasy author.

Each book is a good 500 pages and he had written 12 books but the main concept through out the series is that humanity is doomed to continue a cycle of successes and mistakes. I hate to believe that we have no control over our learning but maybe this is the case? Just a thought...

The Griper said...

he grins at gayle and says "maybe,maybe".

another thought on that is that we may learn from the past but not all that it has to teach us so we are doomed, as you say, to continue the cycle until we learn all that there is to learn. i say this because i can't see man remaining totally ignorant of the past in his behaviors of the present. i have to believe we do learn something. it is just a matter of what and how much.


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