There is nothing quite like rekindling a relationship with an old friend. As I get older and meet new people, I am fascinated by the simple fact that my new friends (new-ish as well) are often better friends than the old. There is no assumption or expectation on new friends’ parts, merely (if we’re lucky) a simple intrigue to get to know you. I can say this because as a new friend to many people over the last number of years, I find it simple to kill an hour with a new person because there is so much to learn and see and ask and it goes on and on. And sometimes with old friends, I struggle with conversations because the connection might’ve passed, we’ve got little in common, and just don’t seem to enjoy each other the way we used to.
Little do we know that when we are younger, and still to this point, each new friend has the ability to be a forever friend, we just don’t know it until much, much later as forever seems to evolve. So when I look at my best friend or lasting friendships from days passed, I can only gather that we remain true and honest and blessed by one another because once upon a time, during the ‘get to know you’ part of our friendships, we decided that we would forever be ‘getting to know each other’ and still enjoy doing so. And if that foundation was initiated by a genuine curiousity at the start, then all the better.
I fortunately have been blessed by solid foundations a couple times over. Last night I was able to reconnect with a friend that I spent my late elementary years dreaming about (I swore we would get married and I didn’t know him aside from being on my soccer team), my middle school year trying to get his attention and potentially just even be his friend, our whole high school experience doing everything together from watching movies to working at the rink to being the first person to drive with alone when I got my ‘N’, being my grad date and everything in between. I even remember one fateful birthday when I was the only girl invited to his party and I had to learn quite quickly that ‘system link’ meant hooking up 4 x-boxes to 4 tvs and playing with 16 people and that Chinese food is an activity on it’s own when eating with a bunch of guys. We fought a lot, too. He was always right and I was always wrong and he’d always apologize and I would always yell louder.
The thing I most appreciate about him is that he has always taken an active interest in my family, genuinely concerned about my parents moving or excited that Jes got hitched or Marli in culinary school…all of it. And the reversal – his Mom and sisters and the rest of his family always welcomed me to a point where I never just miss him, but all of them (his sister was my very first skating coach!). It makes all the difference when someone not only knows the names of my five sibling and parents but wants to know what they are up to and how they are (we bond now not so much over having older siblings who didn’t get in as much trouble as we did but instead, our excitement to be an aunt or uncle to those said siblings’ children one day hehe).
But the point is that he was my very best friend and when his parents moved away from Smithers the year he moved away to university, I thought I was lost. But we grow up? And it was okay.
Anyways, aside from the ever present e-mails, we talk on the phone three times a year: my birthday, his birthday, and Christmas. I haven’t seen him since June of ’05 when Joce was in her accident and I went to his house in PG to stay for a week while I was hanging in the hospital. But I got an out of ordinary phonecall from him about three months ago saying “I am moving to Victoria, Kate!!” and I fell out of my chair. Last night we saw each other for a pint of Keith’s for the first time in over three years and we couldn’t get enough of eachother. It was like drinking water and when the cup is empty, you’re so thirsty you have to refill over and over and over. There was so much to say! And when I thought we finished, there was more to say! To say I had a wonderful evening is an understatement. I was giddy almost because he’s the honest-to-goodness definition of a true friend, and the foundation to our friendship (well over ten years in the making!) made it almost too easy to fit right back in. At one point he said “it’s kinda weird how with us, it’s always the same”… I guess a testament to how important it is to give room to friends to let them grow as you grow; live as you live, independently…and maybe the person will one day walk right back into your world and God taps you on the shoulder as if to say “Hey? Remember when you asked if it was worth the effort? What do you think now?” you can answer with a resounding loud and passionate “YES”.
So I am thrilled at having him only 10 minutes away from me instead of four years from me. And if last night was any indication of what I have to look forward to, I still think that new friends can trounce the old, but I am blessed by the few still standing on that foundation we worked so hard to piece together long ago.
And it doesn’t hurt that we’re both proud owners of Blue (albeit two different shades) Honda Civic SI’s… great minds think alike…and like minds think great! Like I said before, I am BLESSED.