By Caroline T. Jackson
Friendships are a rare commodity in this fast paced world that we live in today. Gone are the days where you went to visit your neighbor to catch up on their life, their families and share your stories or concerns. Now we live with the computer which comes in all sizes and shapes, instant messaging, phones that allow us to text and take pictures, keeping us connected when we are miles away. The face to face contact has been reduced to brief moments that we try to fit into our calendar.
I just returned from a 3 day visit with five of my closest friends that I met in college. I have never lived in the same town with any of them but over 40 some odd years we have stayed connected and have made an effort to have that unique face to face contact as often as possible. It may have been just a lunch as I was passing through town or an overnight visit with one or more of them in their various homes but each time we just stepped back into that special relationship that develops when you are young and experiencing life.
It only took a moment for us all to begin to talk at once and not much longer for the laughter to take over the conversation. As we have aged, and we have done this well, our stories have changed and the focus of our verbal contact has aged with us. I was the first to pull out the pictures of my new granddaughter but certainly not the last. While “oldies” played in the background, we caught up on the latest activities in our lives. Believe it or not, while some are winding down in the business world, others are just cranking it up, following their dreams or changing focus, turning their hobbies into worthwhile ventures. Time to travel with friends or husbands that have retired from the everyday workplace has taken on a fresher look. But nothing can overshadow the hilarious memories that we shared with one another. You step back and you are 19 or 20 again and having the time of your life….that is….. the part we remembered!
While trying to recall names and faces our conversation turned to “staying young”….looking at the shapes of our lipsticks….that tells a lot about you, you know……. what we do about our worn out knees and hips and those “character” lines around our eyes. We talked of old hurts and dealing with aging parents. We shared, face to face, the blessings and the disappointments in our lives, but most of all we showed that we still knew how to be close friends with no baggage between us….to relish in the past but to love what we have become. There is no greater value than a heart shared over time that never forgets, never judges, and never grows cold. The next time you “reach out and touch someone” may it be a heartfelt hug shared with an old friend.