A visit with an old friend

Yesterday I had a visit with an old friend.  She probably wouldn’t be thrilled for me to call her old, but seeing as how only a few months separate our age, I think she’ll understand.  We’ve known each other since we were 14, young and awkward.  We’re older these days.  In fact, as I was getting ready yesterday, I plucked a white hair from my bangs.  I don’t have many white hairs, but I don’t want any.  I smiled as I thought about how far we’ve come in all these years.

The thing about old friends is they remind you where you came from.  Yesterday we had lunch together.  It consisted of grilled cheese sandwiches and Lay’s sour cream and onion potato chips at my dining room table.  My daughter entertained us a bit as we ate.  And we talked about life.  We talked about work.  We talked about husbands.  We talked about history.

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I remembered another lunch when we were seniors in high school.  As happens with teenage girls, drama was afoot.  This friend stood up for me in a way that no one had ever done.  I’m not sure she remembers that day, but I sure do.  Fortunately, this week’s lunch was much calmer.

Another bonus to an old friend is that you don’t have to give back story.  It’s like an outside extension of yourself, really.  This friend and I have been through ups and downs.  She was the first person I lived with outside of my parents.  She was the first person I truly considered a sister.  I spent a few years without her in my life, and I regret that.

She knew me before I was a journalist and only liked to write.  She knew me before I was a wife and giggled at my now husband walking down the school hallway.  She knew me before I was a mother and was only a daughter.  I knew her before she was a professional and was an excellent student.  I knew her before she was married and had crushes.  This is the ebb and flow of life.

While new friends are a joy, old friends are a treasure.  I’m thankful for the many relationships in my life — new and old alike.  I’m thankful for a new friend who shares so much of my life though we live miles apart.  I’m thankful for an old friend who lives much closer and shares so much of my life history.

I’m a quiet person.  People around me would tell you that I’m an introvert.  I have a close family who I treasure.  I have close friends who I also treasure.  Sometimes a visit with an old friend is just what I need to remind me of who I was once.  I’m not the same as I was when I first met my friend back at the beginning of high school.  She’s not the same either.  It’s fun to reminisce about where we’ve come from.  It’s also fun to see where we’ve arrived.  We’re no longer talking about teachers and assignments.  These days we talk about our families and our work.  Our journey isn’t over.  Lord willing, we have many years still left on earth.  I pray that my now new friends will become old ones as time goes by.  And I pray that my old friend will become an even older friend as time passes.

It’s the people in life that make it worth living.  I’m thankful to have those with whom I can share this journey.

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