This weekend I was in CT visiting some long-time friends with my 18-year-old who came along for the ride. We stayed with a family that I met 10 years ago at a conference. We've kept in touch by phone, taken mission trips together, and gotten together whenever our schedules permit.
I took a ride back to my old neighborhood, where I noticed that the street sign is probably the same one that was there so many years ago. And that it apparently hasn't been stolen I moved out.
Saturday afternoon I enjoyed a cool drink with the daughter of a another long-time friend; the miracle of Facebook Mobile. Her dad and I bought guitars the same day back in August of 1978 in downtown New Haven.
I also had lunch-- sushi-- with another friend. She and I have known each other since kindergarten (1964), went to same schools, were in an occasional class, and finally went our separate ways in 1976-- she 11th in the class and me 222. Wow!
I am having trouble wrapping my little mind around 30, 40 , no nearly 50 years of history. There is something surreal about it. I think what I find interesting is the details I remember about knowing these folks so long ago. I remember sitting in that kindergarten class, the silver stars for good deeds and scholastic accomplishments taped to the coat closet doors, giggling on the playground, playing kickball, riding black Murray tricycles around the sand box, and going home on school bus #32. Who would have guessed how I'd turn out then? And who would have thought my old neighbor and I would eating sushi 40 some odd years later?
I have also been thinking about how poorly I have kept some relationships that I have started over the years. I have been better at some then others, that's for sure. But as I grow older, it is harder to start news ones, and more important to re-energize others. I am fascinated when I reconnect with kids I once went to school with.
Sitting with my host over coffee, he told me the story of a man that had gone to church, gotten saved, but he just couldn't get connected. The pastor's wife made it her job to contact this member daily by phone. He didn't answer the calls, but she continually left a message saying that he was missed and that they were looking forward to his return to their family. It took nearly a year, but he came back. It is a touching testimony, and one that stirs me to think about who I could do that for.
So, for now, I am making an effort to contact people and make my self available for whatever lays ahead-- for them and for me.