As I wrote this piece, I kept stopping to contemplate, “what makes for a long term, long distance friendship between men?” Well, for starters, there are quite a few similarities to what makes for any strong relationship, romantic or platonic: common interests and values, mutual respect, consideration, and an appreciation for the other person, differences as well as similarities. Yet it’s easy for distance, family responsibilities, nearby acquaintances, PTA meetings, weekend chores, work, and even money to deteriorate a once solid bond. But anything worthwhile takes a little effort, a realigning of priorities. To me, having a best friend and spending time with him is well worth any perceived, transient inconvenience. I’d like to think, and am thankful, that Mike feels the same way.