Jack and Maria had been friends for many years. They met in high school and even went to the same college after graduation. Jack married a young, aspiring actress and Maria married a man from her law school classes. The couples often spent time together especially around the holidays and birthdays. Eventually, families and careers meant less time for friends and Jack and Maria had a small falling out over a vacation they had all planned. This vacation would end up being the thing that would drive them apart but a picture with words would bring them all back together.
Jack’s wife did not want to go to the original location because it was too much sun and she needed to save her skin for her career. They considered a ski vacation but Maria’s oldest child was in a wheelchair and would be left out of most of the activities. Everything that one suggested the other would shoot down. Soon, the spouses decided that this was too much bother for a vacation with childhood friends. And they decided they would go on separate vacations instead. Plans for an upcoming birthday were also canceled.
Both were sad and wished that it could be different for them but their spouses were right. It wasn’t worth all of this fighting for a long time friend. Either something was easy or it wasn’t. They exchanged cards and a few phone calls but those became less and less. Maria was especially hurt by this change but could not picture with words exactly why. She had a loving spouse and children that she adored so why was she struggling with this loss? She had moved on from other friends and had barely spared them a second thought.
Best Friend’s Gift
As for Jack, his wife was spending more and more time looking for work, flying off to New York and Hollywood to audition. She found an agent and that meant even less time for her husband and their children. One day she called and said that she was going to be moving to California permanently. She didn’t even ask about the kids during that phone call which left Jack angry, upset and afraid.
He thought of reaching out to Maria but did not want to intrude on to her life with his problems. It was then that a friend of his showed him a gift that he had received. It was a picture with words across it and it was beautiful. He thought of all of the years of memories he had with Maria and how much he enjoyed spending time with her.
A few months later though, he got a phone call that shook him. Maria’s husband had died suddenly and she was lost, struggling. Her depression was keeping her from caring for herself and her work suffered. Bills piled up and the kids were miserable. They had lost their father and now their mother was slipping away from them right before their eyes. It was time for Jack to act. He found out how his friend’s gift had been created and made his own picture made of words for Maria to show her how beautiful life was and could still be. He found an early photo of the young couples on vacation before all of the problems started creeping in and ruining their joy.
Picture Made with Words
He used words that would make her remember the good times now only with him but with her husband and the children. After that, he poured his heart out and let it spread across this photo of happy people in happier times. Then he went to her home and gasped as the sad, gray face of his best friend stared unblinking at him. He handed her the package and then quietly walked away thinking it was best to let her process it on her own.
Jack was only a few steps down the sidewalk when he heard her call him back. She had opened the box and was stunned by the gift. This was more than just a picture made of words. It was her reminder of what she had had and how lucky she was. She knew that so many people tried and failed to find friendships like she had with Jack.
She was lucky to have had a loving husband and wonderful kids. Every word on this picture was like a ray of light, lifting her depression and making her want to work on getting back to the happy, energetic woman she had been. She would mend fences at work and restore her career. She would help the kids get through their sadness. And she would make time for friendship with Jack once again because they needed each other.