What Does it Mean to be a Friend?

My friend Ian gave me this plate he found with my last name at the top on HIS wedding day.

Ian and I have been friends for 20 years. He was my first boyfriend in 6th grade (our first and only date was a double date with his parents on New Year's Eve!)

A true friend knows our shadows and vulnerabilities and remains with us, offering companionship, understanding and forgiveness for our shortcomings.

Friends are aware of each other's flaws but choose to address the whole person anyway, overlooking individual acts and transgressions where we were not at our best and helping us to keep our authentic selves in the forefront.

What does friendship mean to you?