Thursday, August 4, 2011

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old...


Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

     I had an interesting day yesterday. I went to my hometown to spend the afternoon at a non-traditional visitation/funeral/reception for a friend's father who died last Friday. This wasn't just any friend, she is my oldest friend. Our grandparents were friends and neighbors, our parents grew up together and our mothers were pregnant with us at the same time. Our birthdays are 2 weeks apart. She was my maid of honor and I gave the baby shower for her oldest son. I have always known her and with the exception of a few years when we lost track of each other, we have always stayed in touch. Her father was a quiet, wise man who loved to golf and have a cocktail or two with dinner at the Country Club. So, she decided to have a reception following the funeral at her dad's favorite place. We grew up there, going to junior golf classes, swimming all afternoon and charging lunch to our dads whenever we could get by with it. My wedding reception was held at "The Club". Her father's tribute had an open bar, food and a piano player...people were dancing. Her dad would have loved every minute. 

     Also attending was my best friend from high school, who was also my first college roommate. We have kept in touch over the years with Christmas cards and phone calls, Facebook chats and when my mom died...she was there. We happen to share the same first name and in high school, my mom called us #1 and #2 because we were together so much. Oddly enough, we married men with the same last name...so now, we have the same name exactly-very confusing. 

     I also got to see three other "girls" from my high school class. I hadn't seen them since graduation, 39 years ago. Because of Facebook, my class is reconnecting and I have had some FB conversations with them in the last year. These women were not friends who hung out at my house in high school, but I knew them. One was a friend I knew from my classes, one was part of a group I was in and we shared several friends and one I didn't really know well at all. However, yesterday...within 60 seconds of seeing each one of them, somewhere between the hug and the "I expected you to be blonde" we reconnected in a most unexpected way. 

     As we sat at our table catching up with children, grandchildren and talking about other classmates...I found myself thinking that this is like something out of a summer novel. Women getting together after many, many years and automatically feeling like sisters. We were there for our friend and as she walked through the room, sipping wine and visiting with family and friends, she would stop and sit with us for a moment when the tears would form and "recharge" before heading off again. She knew that we were holding her up and I knew almost instantly, that these women, some of whom I hadn't seen in decades would also hold me up when necessary. 

     Time is an interesting thing. It is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter if you were in a clique in high school (who can remember anyway?) and it doesn't matter where you lived or what your father did for a living, you are bonded in ways I didn't really understand until we started forming our group of classmates on Facebook. I was reluctant to join and yet as I have watched our class group grow to well over 100 members in the past year and now after actually meeting with some old friends face to face, I realize that those shared memories of our families, our town and our classmates really are something unique to a small group of people. As we all face the challenges that come with being this age, we are in the same boat and it is really wonderful to know that someone else will grab the oars and row for a while if you can't. 

     If you have lost touch with old friends or classmates, I really suggest that you start a group on Facebook and start looking. Take the risk. Don't assume that because you weren't best friends in school that you can't be friends now. The people that remember your parents, that remind you of the time you skipped class or sipped that first beer...they have your back and we all need a dose of that sometimes. 

     Can you pick me out of the senior pictures above?

19 comments:

Barbara F. said...

This was a great post, Sue, made me think back to my high school friends. I think you are on the 2nd row, first girl on the left, dark hair?

Your friend's memorial to her Dad was a really special and loving tribute to him. xo,

Pondside said...

That was very sweet. I've avoided facebook because of my work, but sometimes I think it would be fun to reconnect with some friends I've 'misplaced' along the way.

Anita@Theycallmejammi said...

Great thoughts and probably true of most of us....I wish we all had more time to do the things we enjoy and the things we should. Wouldn't a 2 day workweek and a 5 day weekend be great....wonder who I could suggest that to to get some action. LOL. No idea which picture is you...a couple look possible but I just don't know.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Fabulous post. How wonderful to be there for your friend. I have a couple that I have stayed in touch with and they truly are the ones that have your back. Can't pick you out. Hugs, Marty

Traci said...

I know just what you mean. It's been awesome to catch up with friends & acquaintances through FB.

My husband & my boss have the same first & last names. VERY confusing. People tend to think I'm married to my boss.

bj said...

Love this, Suz...I have stayed in touch with quite a few of my great friends from school..We meet once a month for lunch and to *catch up*. There's 5 of us here in the same town..one extra special friend lives about 3 hrs. from me and we try hard to have a day or two together each year...now that I think about it, we should do it more often...we are both getting pretty dang old.
You are the 4th pretty girl....*or 2nd row, 1st one...:_))

Linda said...

What a great post...we moved around a lot and I didn't get to make very many close friends when I was young...those I did mean so much to me! I think your friends tribute to her dad sonds wonderful...that the way I want to be remembered...in a fun way!

Nancy said...

I couldn't agree more. I have some new "old" friends that I reconnected with from high school. I even did some traveling with one friend and then the last trip was to Hawaii where 6 of us had our own mini-reunion. Great time was had by all.

Sue-Someone's Mom said...

I'm actually in the top row...in the middle!

Patrice said...

My high school friends have tried to get me to join in with them, but I just can't do it...

Pamela Gordon said...

Hi thanks for visiting me and leaving a comment today. I love your post today and in the past year have connected with several friends from high school on facebook. I just looked up the schools I went to and found names I remembered and one was a mutual friend with someone who used to teach my kids. Small world! Pamela

xinex said...

I love this post, Sue. Although the circumstance that brought you together was sad, I klnow you all were happy to see each other again. I have a group of friends from College who I am very close to. In fact, I just created a new blog for us. Come visit when you have a chance. I just posted the first one the other night. http://foreverspooks.blogspot.com/
Christine

Duta said...

Your post is a very nice treat after having read the other day about Facebook on a certain blog. The blogger's words : "Awful experience. I was contacted by people I spent 20 years trying to avoid". LOL.

Anonymous said...

That was such a lovely piece you did Sue! I teared up when I read it, you really do understand what I tried so hard to explain! Was so good seeing you tonight, and so look forward to seeing you more!

Sherry said...

Sue, This is a great post with good advice. I am glad you could reconnect with your girlfriends. So sorry for the friend who lost her father. Thanks for coming by this week.
Sherry

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Wonderful post Sue! I graduated a few years after you but the hair pics and the styles were the same.
My hubby has his 35th coming up...should be interesting!
Hugs,
Cindy

Holly Lefevre said...

I was on FB for one year before I actually used it and then my 20 year reunion came along and it was an amazing place to reconnect with so many. I have made many new (old) friends and it has been amazing...you are so right...time is the great equalizer.

I just had a girlfriends weekend (I have known 2 of the 3 I have known since I was 7!)...it was amazing - we had not all been together for 4 years but all being together it seemed meant o be,...just perfect.

So glad you had a chance to have such a great experience (even if the reason you all gathered was a solemn one).

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Some great sentiments in this post with which I totally agree.

Angie said...

What a great post, Sue. Good reminder to never forget where you came from and those who knew you best :)