Following is an excerpt from my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story.
“I place a very high value on a hand full of friends in my life, including my own wife, Judy. Charles, Jim and Les are three of my closest friends. Charles showed me how to laugh and keep laughing. Although Jim passed away too early in his life at age 58, he remains in my heart as one of my dearest friends. Les and I have been close friends since the early 80’s when I first joined Nortel Networks. Les has always modeled friendship consistent with his spiritual beliefs and in unconditional ways. In retirement, Byron, one of my neighbors, has become a very close friend. We have become best friends and good partners in our community service endeavors. I can always go back to trust and respect as the key factors in lasting friendships. My intense behavior and anxiety does represent a challenge for maintaining long and close friendships. Knowing more about my condition now makes me appreciate even more all those friends who put up with me for so many years. If I had known more about my condition earlier it would have been easier to manage friendships better. But for the most part there are very special memories that resulted from friends who had that extra patience with me and saw something that was genuine, someone they could count on and trust. And for me it is and was the same with all of these very close and dear friends, Charles, Jim, Les and Byron. And there are others as well who made a positive impact on my life. Although Jim is gone, I do miss him very much and think about him most days. He seems to be there reminding me of things that make a difference in my behavior and in the treatment of others.”