From the time we are little children, people are in and out of our lives for any multitude of reasons. Life takes us in different directions, quite literally. People move, start families in other places, and get busy with the every day of their lives.
All of a sudden, years have past, and you still think of those people, but then you are busy too, so you don’t reconnect even if you think of these people.
And then, just like that, something happens, and you are back in each other’s lives and that is such a neat thing when it happens.
It happened to me today. A four hour conversation with one of my oldest friends from high school. Yes, those Shipley connections and friends I have written about before. That school gave me a wonderful foundation and the best relationships in my life, truly. This woman and I were thick as proverbial thieves for years, and then life just took us in diffferent directions, on different paths.
I will tell you how it came to be, this phone call today….
Recently the younger brother of a friend died of leukemia. I have now lost several people I knew, admired, and cared about to virulent forms of leukemia. This man was the brother of my friend I spoke with today. He fought this disease so valiantly and was so positive.
He passed away and the first thing I thought of was my friend, one of his siblings. So I looked up her address and sent her a note. We had not spoken in a few years, but how could I not? She was the one who introduced me to all her siblings, and well I have these memories of her brother as a little kid because of her. He was this funny, very bright burning ball of energy with a very funny sense of humor. And a very messy bedroom. Truthfully, all of her siblings were truly nice and interesting, even as kids.
When he got older he went to boarding school and then off to college, so I did not really know him for many years, and was just getting to know him as an adult with his own family when he got sick. In the intervening years, his one sister who was my friend and I grew apart. And it was for no other reason than time and distance. She was in another state far enough away starting a family that we just lost touch, and became disconnected.
Yesterday in the mail, was a note for me. Handwriting I had not seen in so many, many years. It was from my friend. I opened it, read it, and wept, It was so good to hear from her and she is so sad about her brother.
So today she called. And it was like high school again. It was such a marathon phone call that in the back of my mind I was waiting for one of our parents to pick up another phone in the respective houses and yell at us to get off the phone and do our homework.
Speaking with her, the years melted away like no time had past even if so many years actually had. But that in and of itself is the value of real friendship – it is O.K. the time has passed, and now it is time to catch up.
This is my friend who introduced me to Chester County more than any other person had when I was a young adult. She went to West Chester University and for a few years she lived in Malvern Borough too. So speaking with her today after all this time, made me so happy, because when I moved out here I started to think about her a lot. Every time I drive by Raintree in Malvern Borough I remember when she and another friend shared a condo there. Or when I drive way down King until it almost meets Lancaster Ave and remember the places she was a hostess and waitress while in school.
Back in the day we would go to the restaurant festival in West Chester, the “Gobble Off” that used to be at what was the Bar and Restaurant the night before Thanksgiving with other friends, hanging out at WCU’s the Rat before she graduated, hanging out with people at the Marshalton Triathalon, dancing at Lionshare and Main Lion and more.
We were also roommates at the beach in the summer for a while. We had a lot of fun together.
And then she moved and the years passed and we lived kind of separate lives, connecting here or there with a random phone call or letter.
When you meet people who are so disappointing, you remember the friends like this. I am a fortunate women to have so many of my old friends still in my life. Thanks to her brothers we are reconnected. That makes me happy. I wish her one brother was still with us to know, but somehow I would like to think he does.
Life is short. Don’t waste it.
Thanks for stopping by.