I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting up with a good friend from high school as well as a good friend from college on this trip. I last saw my high school friend at our 30 year reunion, 6 years ago. Prior to that reunion however, it had been at least 20 years since we had seen one another and those years were pre-Facebook so we hadn't been in touch at all. But at the reunion we re-connected immediately, re-kindled our kindred spirits, and enjoyed a rich level of conversation that made the years vanish, leaving the friendship fresh and intact. Facebook definitely helped us to keep in touch during throughout the past 6 years and on this trip, we were finally able to arrange to have lunch together. It was amazing how deep and easy the conversation was with topics ranging from faith to family, with a little politics thrown in! I know our husbands would enjoy one another and we hope that we can get everyone introduced soon, perhaps next time, across the pond in Sweden! Calene is anxious to visit the country of her heritage and I would be thrilled to welcome her and her husband to our life there.
Then, by chance, a college friend who I have not seen in at least 25 years was in the desert on business and we also were able to arrange a meet up! Joan and I became friends our freshman year, as we lived on the same floor and found that we shared a love for life and silliness! Joan also ended up marrying one of my friends from California who I knew before Joan did! Brad and I had become close friends during a week long high school church camp the summer before my senior year of high school. Joan recalls seeing a photo of Brad in my room long before Brad was ever in proximity to Joan! We met at a Mexican restaurant which was appropriate because Joan reminded me that I was the one who first introduced her to Mexican cuisine! When we met she didn't known the difference between a taco, burrito or enchilada! Brad and Joan have lived in northern California for much of their 31 years of marriage and it was so wonderful to see her again and hear about their life together, their kids, and their faith. Joan also lost her father last February and again, through the Facebook connection, we were able to walk with one another through our parental losses. It was so good to talk about this season of life, how her mom and my dad are doing at this point and share the journey of our grief face to face.
Friendships are our life blood and when you move around as much as I have in life, you have to keep making new friends. But the older you get, it is also true that long-time friendships that share your history and resonate with your past are incredibly valuable. Our pasts are such a central aspect of who we are in the present that to meet up with these wonderful friends and pick up the sentence mid-stream, even when decades have gone by, is indeed a rare gift and one that I savor and value.
Many thanks to Calene and Joan for making the effort to connect with me while I was in California! Here's to making it happen again and again...perhaps next time on the other side of the pond!