20 Years Later

May 17, 2012 at 7:38 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | Leave a comment
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This past weekend I was treated to a very special visit from an old friend  — a friend I had not seen in 20 years.  It is hard to believe that I am old enough to be able to say that, but in this day and age, reconnecting is easier than ever!

Of course, when I first knew this woman, we were not even in our double digits in age, and computers at that point still had black screens and green type, the Internet was but a dream in some genius’s mind.  And in all honesty, we were very young, and I’m not one of those people who has vivid memories from my childhood.  I remembered who she was immediately, but specific memories of our relationship did not readily come to mind.

Still, I was amazed that she remembered me.  I wondered, what did I do to leave such an impression on her mind? So I had to ask, and her answer was not at all surprising.

We were pen pals.  As in, pen and paper.  Good old fashioned letter writing.  I don’t know how long we kept in touch this way for, but it was long enough for her to remember me all these years later.

This didn’t surprise me because I was always an avid writer, always anxious to keep in touch with the people I met in my life.  I would have my friends sign “autograph” books with their addresses at the end of the school year or at the end of camp.  One of the few remaining things in my old bedroom closet is a box of letters from the various pen pals I had over the years.

And even as the internet took over, even as my phone became attached to my hip all hours of the day, I still continued to write letters well into my college career.  For my friends who traveled abroad, they still recall the letters that I wrote and say how nice it was to receive them.

So both modern technology and traditional writing played a role in the reuniting of two old friends.  It was an absolute pleasure to see her, and although she is back in her native Japan once again, I hope I don’t have to wait another 20 years to see her.  And if I do, I imagine it will be another super interesting reunion (and hopefully it will be on her turf!)

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