I was reacquainted with some very dear friends from school. The last time I saw them we where 13 years old. High school was our next big hurdle and soon we would be caught up with new challenges, new friends, and a new life that would become all encompassing.
It's been nearly 30 years since we've seen each other. Our paths have led us down very different roads of which the terrain has not always been sure-footed. And yet, beyond the space of time and differences, our friendships seem to have grown deeper and feel more meaningful. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote,
"Not chance of birth or place has made us friends
Being oftentimes of different tongues and nations,
But the endeavor for the selfsame ends
With the same hopes, and fears, and aspirations."
I can't help but think that Mr. Longfellow must indeed have had a great many cherished friendships because his words are insightful and wise. I can hardly remember what we were all like back then; what we thought, what we said, what we found funny, or serious. Those memories are like blurry fringes around the corners of my mind. But, I think I can hear the laughter, or see the smiles, or even smell the aroma of shortbread cookies at lunch time. I can vividly recall the tears for a dear classmate that left this world far sooner than any of us would have liked. He is our clarity. He is our center. He is our most cherished memory.
Standing together with my friends, reminiscing about "life back when" I couldn't help but feel very proud of that moment. Does that sound odd? It feels odd saying it. I can't think of any other way to describe that sensation. Do you know that feeling you get like somethings pushing on your chest from the inside trying to get out? Sort of like that. I looked from one friend, to another, and then another. They were talking football, golfing, kids, wives, other old friends that they still haven't seen and it was as if time had never passed us by.
My friend's mother passed away. Today was her funeral. I wanted to be there and show my love and support. I sat through the services thinking of dad and my heart broke to think that my friend was feeling the same loss, grief and pain. After the funeral services we all stood together as friends, and I couldn't help but feel very proud of that moment.