I suspect we all have them. Those friends that we take for granted, the people that are always there. It might be someone you grew up with, maybe someone you met in adulthood or perhaps a neighbor down the street or down the road. You met somewhere, somehow and became friends. And then that person became a friend you took for granted.

For me, it started out as a co-worker. Scott was somebody that I worked with for, I don't know, close to twenty years I suppose. It wasn't everyday and it wasn't shoulder-to-shoulder, but it didn't have to be.

Sometimes, perhaps often, becoming friends doesn't come in a hurry, it takes its good sweet time and sneaks up and then is just...there.

We never said we were friends, never put it out there in the open declaring 'Yep, we're friends now'. We didn't have to, but I think we knew it. At least I did.

You have that friend you take for granted, the one that knows when something in your world is great...or not great at all. That one that says 'Sure' whenever you ask for a favor, a helping hand. In fact, sometimes that friend you take for granted says 'Yes' without even being asked.

Life...work...the world...can seem to get heavy at times. That friend you take for granted was always there to lighten that load, to help.

At least mine did.

It's been a few weeks since he left. I don't see him at work anymore, I don't see him in that room over there, coming through that door over here, standing out on the outside deck. We don't 'shoot the breeze' anymore, don't talk about his garden, his cooking, my kids, my grandkids.

One day he was here and I didn't even think about it. Now he's gone and I think about it a lot.

It's weird I suppose, but I keep thinking I'll see him walking across the parking lot, I'll see him behind that door, I'll see him when I step onto the outside deck and he'll say he's cooking a duck with all the trimmings and won't the family love that!

Denial? I guess. Someone once said that the time comes, when you lose someone, that a smile will come before the tears. And I do crack a smile when I think about Scott. I smile when I think about how we laughed and talked and complained and growled about how sometimes life wasn't fair.

Sometimes life isn't fair.

I wish I wouldn't have taken my friend Scott for granted. You don't have to tell your friend you love him/her (If I'd said that to Scott he'd have told me to shut the hell up, are you crazy?), but tell him/her that you appreciate them. Because you do.

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