“Oh Marylou, Marylou,” we heard our Dad say as he looked in the rear-view mirror. We could tell from the panic in his voice something happened. We turned to see our friend’s car and camper crashed in the median between the busy US highways. Instantly, Dad pulled over and I could tell from the silence in our car, our hearts were heavy.

We were on one of our many camping trips with our friends the Smith’s, heading to the Grand Canyon. We had made it as far as Indiana when a transport truck merged onto the highway, but didn’t look to see who was coming. He crowded our friends into the next lane, causing them to hit the vehicle beside them. There was nothing Marylou could have done. They crashed into the median. And the truck driver didn’t even stop. Other drivers stopped to help. Some had seen what happened and couldn’t believe the nerve of this careless truck driver!

I can still picture the twisted camper laying there in the grass. It took our breath away.

Thankfully, no one was hurt seriously. Their camper was basically written off, but we were concerned about our friends. They felt terrible our trip was ‘ruined’ and wanted us to continue on without them. But, we couldn’t. We knew they needed us and we wanted to be there for them. The Grand Canyon wouldn’t have been the same without them.

My parent’s actions that day taught me a valuable lesson. Friends stick together, even in the rough patches of life. We don’t run and hide when the going gets tough. We do what we can for our friends (yes, even with our busy lives). We make them supper. We take them out for a coffee. We sit and listen. We pray with them.

Friends are a gift from God. Let’s not take them for granted. Stick close to them.

I picture Mom quilting with her friends. They’re working on their friendship blanket and giggle with each stitch they weave. The room is filled with laughter as they tell each other stories from the past. The quilt takes longer, but they don’t care because they’re enjoying their time together. Priceless!

Proverbs 17:17 (The Message)

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

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