Thursday, February 8, 2007

Musings on friendships. . .

As an early baby-boomer, a significant high school reunion is coming up this summer. It's been amazing reconnecting with long-ago friends, some from elementary school years. Coming from a then relatively small suburb north of Chicago, nearly all of us went to the same high school even though we went to different elementary and middle schools. Old photos have brought floods of memories, thankfully mostly good and many silly. I can only imagine how boys I adored back then have changed! Of course I'm probably unrecognizable now, too. I once had long, straight, blond hair and a reasonably good figure. Time has not been kind, however. Nevertheless, I have come to accept my flaws -- ample flesh, graying hair, etc. -- and I'm happy with myself. A small group of former classmates has done an phenominal job of tracking down hundreds of fellow classmates. Some have enthusiastically embraced the idea of getting together again, while others are not quite sure they want to make the effort. Could it be because they would expose themselves to old hurts and still simmering love interests? Only they know. Of course, for some of us, going entails travel and housing expenses, so I'll offer that as another excuse. The most remarkable part of this budding reunion has been reestablishing contact with friends I had long ago written off as lost forever. My family moved east, others moved overseas and more went off to colleges across the nation and in other countries and ended up settling there. For most of us, college was far more fun and interesting than high school, so we tended to focus more on those friends. The best thing that has come from all this, for me so far, is reconnecting with a friend I will call Kay. We went to middle and high school together and were practically sisters. She remembers stopping at the Woolworths for Cokes and fries on our walk home from school. This, during a time when her lovely, dark brown skin would have been problematic in other parts of the country. Living where we did, I was oblivious to racial tensions. Kay and I were buddies, period. Much to our chagrine, we learned that for many years we lived within easy driving distance of each other!! It broke my heart thinking about all the wasted opportunities to spend time together. We have since promised not to lose track of each other again. Kay suffered the horror not to mention displacements of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and is valiantly struggling to pull herself together again in an unfamiliar city and region she doesn't even like. We talk about once a week and share laughs and sorrows. We are both blown away by how we've picked up right where we left off! It's as if no time has passed. I credit this to our soul connection. We all have them -- friends with whom we connected on a much deeper level. Time and space have made no changes in how we feel about each other. My husband, naturally is closest to my heart and soul, but in a different way than my women friends and relatives. Women ROCK!!!

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