Ghosts of Former Lives

February 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 3 Comments
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This week I had the opportunity to catch up with another old friend – one from my hometown, who moved away a long time ago.  As is a typical move on my part, I always tried to keep in touch, and whenever she visited, I was her go-to person.  It’s a role I’ve played many times in my life to many good friends and I’m happy to keep playing that role.  It’s a part of who I am.

But as life would have it, it has been a good 12 years since we saw each other.  It’s still crazy to me how that can happen, but it can and does, and the sad truth is that I will probably go another long time without seeing her.  It’s not that I don’t want to see her, or that she doesn’t want to, it’s that we live in two very different worlds, very far apart from each other.  I recognized an opportunity to see her through a rare business trip and I jumped on it.  I don’t know when or if that will happen again, or if she’ll find a way to make it back home, or if that’s something she even really wants to do.

Because she took a different path, and her life would have been very different had she stayed. As we compared notes from our 20s we saw lots of parallels.  Had she stayed, we would have continued to hang out, and probably would have gotten in a lot of trouble and had a lot of fun.  Would it be better or worse than what she has now, who really knows, but what she has now is so much to be proud of and I am so happy to see the woman she became.

And it’s amazing that after all these years we still have nothing but love for each other.  I know in seeing me, the only person she has seen from our hometown, that I bring back a lot of memories for her, things she hasn’t thought about in a long time.  I am from a former life.  I represent the past, and since I’ve stayed so connected to it all, I’m able to bring it back for her.

And maybe that’s enough revisiting she needs.  Maybe she’ll come back to visit, but maybe not.  We will stay connected, I know, and I know I will see her again in due time.  In the meantime, I have great memories of our time together in adolescence and peace of mind in knowing that she is in a good place in her life.

I hope to see you again soon, dear friend.

Will You Remember Me?

January 25, 2011 at 7:33 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 8 Comments
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A few months ago, I was walking through a local grocery store in my Sunday best (read — pajamas) picking up my food for the week.  Not surprisingly, it was pretty crowded, but somehow, in the craziness, I ran into someone I knew, or rather, someone who knew me.  Someone I probably should have known, but for some reason couldn’t place him right away.

Why didn’t I recognize this person?  Did he really look that different… seven years ago?  No, no, he didn’t…. did he?  I really don’t know.

This really bothered me.  One of the traits I take pride in is my ability to remember everybody, their middle name, their birthday, their address, and their mother’s name.  I am the person who says to my best friend from high school, “remember so and so?” and she just doesn’t remember anybody so her answer is typically no.

So what does this all mean?  Am I going to start forgetting people I knew all my life?  Am I going to lose the capacity to remember the names of people I meet?  Or even worse… what does this mean for those who know me?  Will they forget I exist?  Will they remember me?

It’s part of the human condition to want to be remembered, want to know you had an impact on somebody.  That’s why we have graves.  That’s why we name our children after family members. That’s why people strive to be famous (or infamous). That’s why writers want to be published (wink).

But you can’t guarantee that everyone will remember you.   Some faces will fall through the cracks, even if you did hang out with them a bunch of times. And sometimes, it will just take a little bit longer to remember some people, as your brain continues to take in images of the new people entering your life.  And sometimes, you’ll need to count on your friends to jog your memory.

That said, I really hope I’ve had an impact on a lot of people’s lives because a lot of people have had impacts on mine, and I plan to remember a lot of people.

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