I call them all-weather friends. Like the patio furniture, which dries out in sunny weather, they are there when the rain storm passes. But more than that, they contribute ideas and emotions, and fill our souls with gratitude. Gratitude does not come spontaneously, but a friend can bring it out.
Some may be relatives, but some come from regions of our country with which we are unfamiliar, like the Bronx. My World War II friend was drafted from the Bronx, and saved by the President from Missouri, Harry S. Truman, when he gave permission to drop the bomb. Armand was on his way from the European theater to Japan, where he was to take part in a massive invasion. You might say it was part of providence.
We call it providence, but who can figure out what expressions of free will can effect these results. To see it all start to play out would require the foresight of God.