Dear Editor:

Did you ever have a friend who stood by your side through thick and thin, in good times and bad? If you do, you are most blessed.

That special person took the time to know you. This individual possesses patience and insight, an ability to listen without rushing to judgment, and who looks at the "big picture." Forgiveness was yours when you lashed out in words of anger, disappointment, confusion, pain and despair. That someone chooses to never take these things personally.

Hold on to that faithful friend in your life and never take that special relationship for granted. This person truly loves you, and has proven it by standing alone for and with you while receiving harsh criticism from others. The easy way out would have been to retreat in fear, but thank God that faithfulness and courage continue to prevail.

Raymond J. Mastroberte,