One of Lucas’ VERY favorite books when he was little is Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. It is a book about friendship. I had kind of forgotten about it until my 2 year year old pulled it out of the archives the other day. I hadn’t seen its tattered pages in quite sometime.
As I was reading it to him, tears were rolling down my face. It is a “Lucas” book.
The first story is about how Toad doesn’t want to get up in the spring and enjoy the sunshine. Frog comes over and tries to get him out of bed but Toad just won’t budge. He is grumpy. He eventually has to change the calendar page to get Toad out of bed. He wants his friend to enjoy the beauty and glory of spring.
The next story is about how Frog is not feeling well. The roles are reversed. Toad comes over to Frog’s house and sees he is looking “green” (that part always makes me laugh) and tells him to get in bed and makes him a cup of hot tea. Then Toad wants to tell Frog a story to help him feel better. He walks in circles, dumps water on his head, and bangs his head on the wall to think of ideas. Until he is feeling sick. So Frog gets out of bed and tells Toad to get in. He then proceeds to tell Toad a story.
The stories go on and on: Frog tries to protect Toad from embarrassment in front of the other animals when he wears his bathing suit. Frog helps Toad search high and low for a lost button. They collect numerous buttons during the search so Toad sews Frog a special button covered jacket.
Every story is full of Frog and Toad putting each other first. What happens then? They are GREAT friends. Inseparable friends. They know the other will always have their back. What a powerful message. I think about friendships a lot because Lucas struggled with that. I know that he knew how to be a friend. He just didn’t feel like he had many true friends at school and it caused him great sadness. All I have heard since his passing is that he had many people who liked him respected him. Considered him a friend. If only he had known.
If only he had known.
I thank God he had Christian and Jakob. Their friendship ran deep, through many trials. They experienced life together.
My take on all this is not only is true friendship selfless but you need to tell others and show others that they are your friends. Invite them to hang out or go to a game or a movie. Make them feel included. You NEVER know who is lonely. Very few show it on the outside. Yet that invite to experience real human interaction may be the one that keeps them afloat. As the old saying goes, To have a friend you must be a friend.