Tracey McMillian

ďFriends to the end,Ē thatís what we use to say when we were kids. How great it was to have that special playmate to share your thoughts, secrets and just to be there when you needed them. So many adventures and experiences shared by a friend who was always there when you called.

Both guys and gals have friends with whom they either confide or casually socialize with now and then.

While friends can come and go in our lives, some are long-term that go back to early childhood. We often develop friendships on our journey through life that play significant roles in shaping our character.

I have had many friends throughout my life, but one in particular goes back to my kindergarten days. We only talk occasionally and have drifted somewhat apart because of lifeís circumstances. But I still consider her my best friend. I donít remember any bad feelings or harsh words between us.

Keeping things in balance - respecting each otherís needs in the friendship - can sometimes become the big challenge. There are going to be disagreements, likes, dislikes on both sides of the friendship. Sharing, caring and taking turns is a must. Lopsided friendships can easily head for disaster.

How often do you do something for your friend just because - by doing some kind act that packs zero motive? In other words, donít expect something in return every time. People today have too much agenda in their friendships. You see it all the time.

Betray a friend or watch one betray you and see where the friendship lands - down the drain forever. Sometimes itís a simple misunderstanding. Iíve been hurt a time or two by friends - inadvertently or deliberately.

Friendships should not be taken lightly. They are often difficult to cultivate to the level you truly have mutual trust. Thereís lots of value there.

Enjoy your friendships, value them - they are like gold! Keep in contact if you can. Write or call them and donít wait until tomorrow. Do it today.

Tracey McMillian works in editorial design at the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 239.