I have a lot of "old friends." Yes, many of them are up in years, but that's not what I mean, silly.
I am still in touch with people I have known from the beginning of my life, at least as much as I can remember. I play Words With Friends with my friend Meg who I have known since kindergarten and even though she moved away in 4th grade, I still can remember her expressions as if I were still 10, too! I can't wait to spend some time IRL (in real life) having dinner or a girls weekend someday. I've never met her husband or kids nor she mine, but I follow along with her Facebook postings and love that she is still part of my life after all these years. For some reason, I just *know* that we will have a good time when we meet.
Robin and I have been friends since the first day of high school. We've shared lots of life events -- first crushes, boys and mint chocolate chip kisses, falling in love, having babies, the death of our parents and more through the years. Back in the day when we used tape for phone messages, she and I would use it all up, leaving each other 1/2 hour long messages!
Megan I met after college in NYC -- an unlikely friendship formed as we were both roomates of an absent roomate -- and we wound up both leaving that NYC apartment and getting a place of our own. (Basement of a house in Weehawken. We had a particularly memorable experience when it flooded from a nasty storm one year.) She and I have more belly laughs, challenges of intellect (Megan is an Excel pro), dreams of getting our business off the ground (and dealing with conmen and crazy personalities) and she fixed me up with my husband to boot!
I spent a few escapist hours yesterday with my friend Kathy who I met when I was just 19. We shared the summer together when we both signed up for a semester in France. Ah, to be young in Paris in 1984. 13 francs to the dollar if I recall correctly. We had a few weeks in Paris, then time in St. Malo, and then we spent the last few just traveling along the Riviera -- without a care in the world. Those memories will always be part of my vision of Kathy. Through the years, we've camped together, we've had children, we've survived illnesses, and I've watched mental illness take her sweet, brilliant husband away from her and change both of their lives, forever.
I could name everyone, make a list -- "mark" it up with details. But I can't summarize how important these people are to me and who I am today. They make me whole.
There is something that only 20+ years of knowing a person can do for you. Kind of puts everything into perspective. You don't need to repeat all the background stories, they just get it. They know who you are and they still love you. And you, them.
My dad told me that I was lucky if I had one best friend in the world. He died at 72 in 2006 and his best friend, Joe, died this past September. After my dad passed, I talked with Joe on the phone several times. It was like talking with my dad. He had that same calm voice, that wry sense of humor, incredible intelligence, charm, and wit, and great advice. They were friends for 40+ years. And man, did they share some crazy life changes through those years.
Do you keep in touch with your old friends? Do you tell them how much they mean to you? Time flies -- slow it down a bit and make sure to reach out. It's good for you, it's good for them, too.
Next post -- love the one you're with. :) (It's important to make new friends, too.)