The subject of friends is one that I think about routinely. Having travelled and lived in a number of different places, it became difficult to have and nurture good friendships. Many of the folks I would consider friends do not live near me, although I try to stay in touch with them. I consider friendship to be one of the most important aspects of life.
A few years ago I had the opportunity the be a catalyst for a friendship between my wife, Kathy, and our son's 1st grade teacher, Ruth. Kathy's 50th birthday was approaching. I decided to send the two of them on a four day trip to NYC. I kept it a secret for a while but finally had to let them know so that they could get their heads around it and do some planning. I did most of the planning, having arranged the hotel, evening meals at the best restaurants including special birthday desserts, and a few plays. That was over 5 years ago, and they remain fast and close friends. They try to do a trip each year together. They did a cruise together in '07. My being a catalyst for their friendship is one of the best things I have ever done in my life. We should all hope to have and be as good a friends as they are, and to not "sail" through life alone.
Peace and blessings.