Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Best of Friends
Two of my best friends from my teenage years (and beyond!) arrive in Tampa tonight for a long weekend. It is amazing how many stories from my years in youth group at New Garden Friends Meeting, in high school at Western Guilford, Myrtle Beach, my freshman year in college at Lenoir Rhyne, a month-long cross country road trip and at Quaker Lake Camp begin and end with either Steve or Carl Semmler- or both! Their family was my family, and my family was their's. With them and through them I became part of a fellowship of friends back in the early 1980s that still very much looks out for each other today, if only from a distance. The group was ever changing with friends of friends coming and going, but the dynamics remained the same. I lost touch with some of them over time, but they were never far from my thoughts and prayers. And we have recently reconnected with many of them through Facebook. The picture below was taken in May of 2006 at my Dad's memorial service in Greensboro. I can look at this picture and see so many of the people I love. Even more were at the actual service but missed the photo. They showed up because Marilyn and I needed them and because my dad was a part of their lives too. They have always been there for me, no matter what. Because of the circumstances in my life, it was the last time I saw any of those amazing people. That changes tonight. I hope it will change even more in the next few months. The words below the picture are from an anonymous writer in a journal I was once given as a gift, but they say so much of what I am feeling. I will add only one thing. Many of those you see pictured have been part of my life since the early 1970s, including Carl and Steve. They have not left normal sized footprints. The ones they have left in my life are more Sasquatch sized- if he was doing the Monster Mash! I love you guys.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance.They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom, and make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. Some people stay in our lives a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.