Today specifically is very hard.
A very good friend of mine, let's just call him Chambre (to protect his identity), is getting married.
In lieu of embarrassing him in front of twenty friends at his aufruf I will embarrass him in front of the 100 or so anonymous and semi- anonymous people who stop by this blog (at least when my dad links to me).
I first met Chambre in summer camp around 10 years ago. One of my first memories of our friendship was when he checked me so hard during a hockey game that I literally flipped over. That's the kind of friend he is. In Yeshiva, Chambre was one of the few guys who did not think that I was out of my mind, and that a three- foot beard was actually a trendy fashion statement.
The Maharal explains the meaning of "u'kneh lecha chaver" in pirkei avos to mean,
"sheyihye nikneh lo chaver, shelo tusar hachaveiros mimeno clal (that the friend should be acquired to him, so that friendship will never leave him)."
Chambre is a friend in this classic sense, extremely loyal and honest. Our friendship is one of kinyan. He is the ultimate good guy.
As I said, not being there for this one is extremely hard, but we will be doing rikudim here in the holy land.