forever friends

An old friend of mine recently came back into my life. After maybe ten or more years, she decided to reconnect. During that time and up until a couple years ago, I’d been sending e-mails and the annual Christmas card with the family newsletter inside letting her know what we’d been up to for the year, always with an added postscript of hoping to reconnect soon. After several years of not receiving even a Christmas card in reply, I stopped sending them, thinking she didn’t want to know me anymore. I didn’t know why, but figured she’d get in touch when she did.

At the time she stopped seeing me regularly, she had just lost her mother and was having a tough go of it. She sought out religion in the hopes of getting comfort. And she kept her distance from not only me, but a few other friends as well. Before she broke away, she had given me a small angel knickknack inscribed with “I’m thinking of you.” She told me at the time that even if she lost touch, that I should always remember I was in her thoughts and prayers.

Ten or so years later and about seven months ago, I got a call from my friend, whom I’ll call Ann. Ann said she missed me and my family (she, my husband, my brother, and I had all worked together at one time, long, long ago) and wanted to see me. I dropped everything and she and I met for coffee. It was so good seeing her. It felt like old times, as though we had never lost touch.

I’m not sure exactly why she dropped out of our lives, other than to figure out some stuff she was going through after the death of her mom, but I didn’t pry. I didn’t care. I was just happy to have her back.

Our lives are so dissimilar now–she’s single and has never been married; she has no kids and no pets, either, while I, on the other hand, have been married for over 27 years, have four kids and a dog and a cat. Our lives rotate on different axes, but overlap just enough–kind of like a lunar eclipse–for there still to be more than a passing friendship. I don’t know why certain people are in our lives or why they drift away or return, but I think there is a reason for everything. Maybe one day Ann will fill me in on all the details, but I really don’t care either way. Truth be told, there wasn’t a lot we would have done together all those years while I raised four kids and she maintained her single, uncomplicated lifestyle and her distance, but it doesn’t matter. What matters now is that she picked up the phone that warm June day and rang me up.  By the way, I had kept that little angel in a prominent place all those years and occasionally glanced over at it and thought of Ann. What she said was true: She was always thinking of me. And so was I.

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