Old Friends, New Goals
We recently delighted in strengthening a friendship that had been dormant for years.
A few weeks prior, I was contacted by an old friend who lived several states away but wanted to come visit us. We had grown up in the same small Texas town but each moved away to discover our own paths. Still, with common friends and social media, we had managed to somewhat keep up with each other over the years. My friend had set a personal goal to visit with an old acquaintance on each trip she made. I liked that goal!
Having moved over 1,500 miles from childhood friends as well as family, I know that many people will say “we’ll come see you” but very few act upon it. I’m probably guilty of doing the same. This was going to be a special day.
Once we sat down and began to chat, we of course tried to figure out the last time we had seen each other. We could quickly pinpoint an afternoon in San Antonio when our oldest (almost 30-year-old) son was two months old. Could that possibly have been the last time? With our collective, fuzzy memories we were never able to identify a time since.
And yet that didn’t affect our conversations one bit.
We relived stories of our hometown as well as adventures we had each had in the subsequent years. The visit could only be a few hours so we tried to press as much into it as possible. After a couple hours I offered our guest the chance to see some of the world around us. I had a rural option or an urban one. Since she had been enjoying the view of the mountains from our back sunroom, we opted to do a quick tour of Travelers Rest, Furman University, and downtown Greenville. The memories and stories continued with occasional interruptions to point out our church, grocery store, or something on the college campus. The same took place as we walked around the waterfall downtown.
You can’t claim we didn’t do our best to catch up.
As the afternoon moved on, and we returned to the house, we continued the visit but knew time was running short. Texts and other messages are great for conveying brief details but there is nothing like face-to-face conversation to strengthen a friendship.
Finally we had to say our goodbyes, but it left me with the reminder that friendships can be reactivated at any moment and we should not pass up the opportunity. One of our favorite YouTube couples always ends their video with the encouragement to “Call Someone You Love”. That’s good advice. I think visiting far away friends is another worthy goal.
In my little hometown, there used to be two weekly newspapers. They weren’t so much for ‘hard news’ as they were for the social life of the community. Invariably, each issue would have descriptions of social gatherings of friends. The special ones always ended with the phrase:
“And a good time was had by all.”
And it was.