So, I was relating a story to DH the other night when my tongue became stuck on the word "friend."
"Well, not a friend-friend exactly ... kinda an acquaintance, but lots better. Umm, you know, the kind who ....
....What was I talking about again?"
When I stop trying to define things ... I realize I'm incredibly blessed by all those I'm privileged to call friend! In fact, I feel closer to some who I've never met ... or may never meet again, than those with whom I regularly brush shoulders.
Blame it on "old age" (lol) ... but lately I've felt a tug to gather some loose ends. May I share a personal success story?
During a somewhat tumultuous season in my life almost 40 years ago, my co-worker extended an invitation to come stay with she and her family for a few weeks. Their little home in West Texas' back country was little more than a chilly shack, but all I recall was the laughter and the love.
Not a year later, "B" and the children arrived on my doorstep to announce they were leaving her alcoholic husband/father and headed to California.
Caught up in a new marriage, new job and new friends, I wished them well and gave it little thought .... believing we'd always be a part of each others' lives. (Ever have that feeling?)
Coming across an old photograph a few years back, I made up my mind to try and locate "B." So sure of myself and the Internet, I hadn't counted on folks' ability to drop off the face of the earth were they so inclined.
All the same, my amateur sleuthing paid off -- in of all things, her ex's on-line obituary! I'd like to say the rest was easy, but those darn threads kept getting in the way or simply led to dead-ends.
Finally, last fall -- a stranger's name on Facebook. Maybe, possibly married to "B's" daughter.
Feeling somewhat foolish, I sent a message. Nothing. OK, he probably thinks I'm some whack job and deleted my inquiry.
Then, out-a the blue I had a response last month, apologizing for the delay. Yes, "B" is his mother-in-law, and yes he would send her my information.
An e-mail from a far-away city arrived soon after and contained an invite to phone.
Folks, I hardly slept the night before -- suddenly unsure of myself and what I might say. ("Hey, want to get together and TP some trees for old times sake?")
Actually "B" beat me to the punch. She, too, had misgivings, but had prayed about her decision to respond. Tho' I'd never have recognized her voice, the humor and positive look on life was still intact. What a surprise to learn, "B" had dug herself out of a hardscrabble situation, first winning her GED, then a college and master's degree. Recently retired from the legal field, she's fresh from an ugly divorce, with very good reason to keep off the social media scene.
Want to hear something unbelievably ironic? Between 1977 and today, "B" and I lived in the same cities, both in Florida and here in Arizona.
I'll admit, it was sobering to realize we've each changed and grown up. Not necessary for the better. Still, I feel incredibly better for having connected the dots.
~ ~ ~
Sid Simon once addressed the different kinds of friends each of us needs to reap in his/her life. Darn, for the life of me I can't find that passage ... but I love his categorizations:
There's the Confidante ..... the Intelligence Stretcher .....the Adventure Bringer ....the Role Model, and of course, the Chicken Soup Bringer.
I suppose our roles change depending on the relationship.
In which role do you see yourself most of the time?
Please take good care of yourselves out there!