Monday, January 22, 2007

Time for Friends

Remember when you were in your teens, even in your early twenties, (if that's now, then this is for later, when you are older) and your friends were such a big part of your life? They were actually in your life, daily. You visited in person, talked on the phone, or later, even shared e-mail messages. Pen pals shared letters, yes paper and pen letters, at least every couple of weeks and sometimes maybe even a phone call.

As the years went by, there were jobs, children, and endless responsibilities that seemed to strangle out a lot of that friend time. If you had time, she didn't, that kind of thing.

Lots of once dear friends slipped through the cracks and faded away. Others hung around but were a mere wisp of smoke compared to what they had been in your life. Those daily communication became every other day, then a couple times a week, then weekly, and then a couple times a month, and before you knew it or how it had happened, sometimes you went a month or two or more without a word, sometimes even much longer.

I had the pleasure of hearing from two of those lost friends this week. One that I used to share e-mails with pretty regularly, and one who was a pen and paper pen pal of mine for years.

The e-mail friend is one of those wisps of smoke. I know she's still there. We share a very rare e-mail message with each other now again when something big or bad happens in our lives. We even exchange Christmas cards, but that's about it. Well, she called me this week and suddenly there she was in my life again, the wisp of smoke blew away and there was flesh and blood, a voice that came through a phone line. There was laughter and memories, some good and some not, but it was comfortable and familiar and felt like it should.

The pen pal friend, she was one of those who slipped through the cracks. I haven't heard from her in years and years. Suddenly a message popped into my in box from her. She had found my website and my contact link. It was so great to hear from her again after so long. She promised to write back and fill me in on all of the changes in her life, and I can't wait to hear them all. I have a few of my own to share. Like I said above, it felt comfortable and familiar to read her words. (I even got a surprise Christmas card from another old pen pal I hadn't heard from in years, so maybe this is the year of friends refinding each other. Smile)

Funny, though friendship transforms are weakens and rebuilds, if it was a real friendship, it never really completely fades away. If you were a real friend, you are still a wisp of smoke in that person's life. So how about reaching out and becoming flesh and blood again? You might not have the time to keep in touch as often as you once did, but you could keep the line of friendship open, and maybe in a lot of years, when you are both old and gray and have plenty of time on your hands, that old friendship will become again what it once was. You'll never know unless you reach out and try.

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