"Make new friends, but keep the old...One is silver and the other gold...A circle is round, it has no end...That's how long, I will be your friend...A fire burns bright, it warms the heart...We've been friends, from the very start...You have one hand, I have the other...Put them together, We have each other...Silver is precious, Gold is too...I am precious, and so are you...You help me, and I'll help you and together we will see it through...Across the land...Across the sea...Friends forever...We will always be."
That old Girl Scout song so described my feeling about my long time childhood friend, Denise...'friends forever we will always be'...and then I moved so far away and somehow everything changed. One day I realized that I no longer knew where any of my childhood friends were, or what they were doing. Even that 'best friend', whom I had been so close to, was lost to me. There have been many times throughout those 26 years that I have thought about her and wondered where she was and what was going on in her life, and several of those times I made some feeble attempt to find her, always unsuccessfully. Recently I have been very nostalgic... rummaging through old photos and scrapbooks, trolling the Internet in search of familiar names and places, joining 'classmates.com' in search of some illusive glimpse of what is long past. I'm not sure what has made this time different, but it has been...I have been more focused in my search, more determined to find her. I do not miss the place where I used to live...the hot, dry, dusty desert...but some of the people from those early years I miss a lot. I have found a few other 'old friends' and former classmates along the way and have enjoyed chatting with them, getting re-acquainted, learning where they are, where they've been...but that one special friend that I wanted most to find seemed to be eluding me...And then it happened...
This past Saturday I found her!
She lives (and has for 20 years) just 3 hours away from me! We have spoken twice on the phone since then...our face-to-face reunion will take place this Friday on her granddaughter's 5th birthday. We have a lot of catching up to do. I am over-joyed to have found her and at the same time broken hearted that we have missed out on so much we could have shared these past 20 years while we have been living only 3 hours apart. We have both gone through many changes during that time...both of us have lost our mother who lived with (or near) us, both have become grandmothers, she has lost her husband...we could have been there for each other. I know we cannot get back the years that we have missed, the memories we could have made...all of that is lost forever. I can only do my best to not loose track of her again and pray that we will have time now, and in the future, to re-kindle our friendship and treasure the time we have left to once again enjoy each other's companionship. In reconnecting with her I have also reconnected with her sister's...already talked to one of them. So as we start this New Year I will look back and remember...AND look forward to new friendships yet to be made and a fresh start towards new memories made with old friends once lost, now found, but never forgotten.
3 years ago