Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Heart Full of Love

on February 18, 2014

Me & Tina 1985     Tina & Me 2-14

I had brunch today with someone I haven’t seen since high school. I considered us to be good friends back then, but we drifted apart pretty quickly when I left for college. After that our lives took off in different directions; in the intervening years when I would think of her I would think that we didn’t have much in common anymore, so it was easy for me to let her go. We had no contact at all until a few years ago, when, through the magic of Facebook, we were reunited. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we became re-acquainted. I didn’t reach out to her, choosing instead to follow her life from a distance.

I felt very conflicted about my hesitation to re-connect. Part of me wanted to, but another part was unsure about what would happen. Here is a person with whom I had laughed and cried, shared secrets, sang, acted, hung out, celebrated, and commiserated, and yet I felt like we didn’t know each other anymore. What if she’s not interested in renewing our friendship? What if she’s not the person I remember? What if we have nothing to say to each other? I was afraid that if I did or said the wrong thing the possibility of getting my friend back would be gone forever. So I waited for the right opportunity. And it finally came today.

It’s an amazing thing to be with someone you haven’t seen since you were young. To look at them across a table with all the years you’ve lived separating you like a river, wide and deep. It took a little while (not long, but a little while) for us to find a comfortable rhythm for our conversation. I wasn’t surprised; even back in high school we had to make an effort to really communicate. I was sure at the time that it was because of my friend’s challenges with her family; her parents were severe with her (not abusive to my knowledge, but not loving, either), and she learned to protect herself. But even then she was willing to risk loving others. So, after a few minutes of “Do you remember?” the connection we once shared was re-established, and we started really talking.

My friend has had a hard life by anyone’s estimation. She wouldn’t mind me telling you about it but I won’t – it’s her story. Just know that I am amazed by her. She is one of the strongest, most resilient people I have ever known. She has faced down so many challenges in her life, mostly without help from anyone. I imagine many people would have given up and crawled into a hole if they had to face what she has in her life, but she didn’t. There she was today, eyes shining, sitting across from me and telling me about how excited and hopeful she is for the future. I am sure she will make her dreams come true – she just doesn’t ever give up.

I knew lots of people in high school, and I had a few really close friends, most of whom are still part of my life one way or another. I wasn’t sure if the bond I had with the friend I saw today was really still there, but not long after we sat down together it came flooding back. We talked and talked, and when it came time to leave we clung to each other and didn’t want to let go. It is such a gift to have had a chance to see her and to know that, even after all this time, we still want to be part of each other’s lives.

Love is what binds us together; it is the bridge that spans the unknown years between us. Don’t ever let go of the people you love if you can help it; in the end, love is the only thing that never dies. Everything changes except for the love you have for other people, and the love they feel for you. Cling to it.  Nurture it. Respect it. It will see you through your darkest hours and give you the only happiness worth having. This is the only thing I’m sure about.

*************

Thanks for reading my blog!  If you want to know more about me and my journey, check out my book “Everyday is Saturday” on Kindle.  The book is part diary, part memoir, about the first year after I was laid off from my dream job.  I think it has something to say to anyone who is struggling with change.

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