Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear Old Friends . . .

Sometimes on a lazy Sunday morning, like today, when I am wide awake not inclined to get out of bed, my mind wanders.  Today my wandering mind took me to old friends.

Some of my old friends I have kept up with through the years.  I bump into them occasionally around town, or I get a Christmas card with a long letter (some people hate those letters, I LOVE them!) telling all about their families.

My college roommates, particularly those from Freshman year, I have kept up with.  We get together now and then for a lengthy lunch at a restaurant and catch up on all the happenings in our lives.

My besties from my childhood I keep up with.  I know what Laura is up to, although she has moved from PG, Nichole lives close by and I see her regularly.  Jennifer is now working with me so I get to chat with her daily over lunch.  Heather also falls into the college roommate category, and is a frequent Facebook poster.

But what about those friends who are only in our lives for a short time?  They still have an impact, at least they have in my life and I think about them from time to time.

There was a girl in elementary school.  She was tall, like I was.  Not as tall as me, but she was probably the closest to my height.  I was/am a slow runner, and I thought that meant that tall people couldn't run fast, because all the fast runners I knew were short.  I remember watching her run the 50 yard dash for that Presidential Physical Fitness thing they used to do, and she was super fast.  There went my theory.   I found out I was slow just because I was slow.  No excuses.  What a let down.  We were pretty good friends in elementary school, and drifted some in junior high and even more in high school.  In fact, I'm not sure I remember her in high school at all.  I'll have to consult the yearbook on that one.  Her mom drove a Volvo and always wore her hair in a bun.  She was the only mom I knew who wore her hair that way back then.  But as for Elizabeth, she was a good friend and I miss her.

I had a lot of good friends during my 2 years at Snow College.  I remember after leaving Snow, some of us got together for some reason.  One guy in the group was my ride home, and as we drove home he made some sort of not-thinking, off-the-cuff comment that hurt my feelings badly.  Luckily it was late at night and dark, and I spent the rest of the ride home quietly crying in the passenger seat.   He never knew I was crying.  He just kept jabbering away.  And knowing this person, I'm absolutely sure, then and now, that he never intended in any way to hurt me. But he did.  And although that was extremely painful, that moment was a life altering one for me, for the better, and I still consider him a dear friend, even though I haven't seen or talked to him in years, and only follow him through his occasional posts on Facebook.

There are others, friends who drift in and out of our lives, leaving marks (hopefully for good) upon our hearts. Even though Facebook has made the world smaller, it would still be a wonderful thing to be able to track down these good people and have a long talk with them.  A frank and honest talk. One in which I could have the courage to say to my friends that even though they have been gone from my life for a long time, they have impacted my life in ways that still matter to me today.  A talk when I could ask them, and they could be honest with me: Has life been good to you?  Are you happy? What has happened to you in the intervening years that have made you stronger? What is the most important to you?

To my readers: please know that each of you has impacted my life for good. I am grateful for you.  And even though I don't keep in touch like I should, I still think of you.

I hope life has been good to you.  I hope you are happy.  I hope the years since I have seen you have brought you experiences that have made you stronger.  And I hope that the things that are important to you are the things that bring you the most happiness.