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What are they? Its a word used all too often, and thrown about a little too easily, but what does it mean to you?
For me I break up people I associate myself with into 3 groups. And I don't take any of them lightly, so don't worry which group you fall into, you are in my life, so I want you there, therefore I care and am grateful for your presence.
The first group is acquaintances. While it seems very vague, to even associate myself with someone takes a great deal of trust, and a bit of respect. I don't like having the piss taken out of me, so an quite happy to drop people like a hot rock from this group if it is clear that things are not right.

Then there are my mates, people who I have known for years, people I would do most things to help. I would never want to see a mate in peril or a situation I could help them with, and will always do anything I can for them. Trusted with the more private parts of my life, and people I will confide in when the time comes. Most of my mates I have known for 10+ years, and there is a mutual reason that we continue to keep each other company.

Then we come to friends. Friends to me are a very small group of people who I would literally die for. People who I have no secrets from, and would trust with any aspect of my life. When I say a small group, I am talking about counting them on one hand. Having lost 2 of them in the past 18 months to an accident and a terminal illness, I guess I am missing something in my life. Like having 2 supports swept away from under me. But I am still left with a couple more.

I guess sometimes I get too dependent on the said few, and forget the numerous other people who are there and have stood by me for years now. I forget the mates that turn into my much closer friends, I forget how things develop through the stages of trust and respect, and for a short while I pile it all onto the couple of true friends I have left.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not whining that I only have a couple of friends, a couple of people that are truly that close to me, hell I'm blessed to have anyone I can trust that much at all. What I am saying is that I'm too dependent on those few, and not thankful or respectful enough for the other people around me.

So to YOU..... Yes you! Thank you for reading this, understanding what I am saying, and for always being there for me when I need you. It maybe days, months or years since we last spoke or saw one another face to face, but we both know that we have got each others backs 24-7, and feel safe knowing that someone is looking out for us. Acquaintances, you are a great bunch, and I love having you all about for your humour, your stories and your occasional company. Always keeping things lively, and supplying regular smiles to my day.

To my mates, you are a wonderful group of people, and I am honoured to know you, and blessed to have you around me. We have spent a number of years learning to trust each other, and showing respect. Some people just dive straight into this role, and feel so natural to have around me from day one. However lessons have been learned fron trusting people too soon.

Then there are the elite, the best of the best, the niche, the ones who I know are there for me as I am there for them. Thank you so very much for taking the time to care about me the way you do. And I hope never to lose another true friend for ANY reason until the day I die.

So, what do you consider a friend to be, and how are your circles of trust laid out? We are all different, and all have different ideas what role friends and family play in our lives. I would dare to say that some friends are more important than some family. Respect is earned and not just given.

The past few hours with comments and messages through Facebook and BBM have caused me to write this entry, and have this train of thought, and for that I am grateful. A little dig in the ribs to wake me up and remind me how much I have in my life to be truly thankful for...

Thank you for being there, and thank you for reading 🙂

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