Last June, I was on a mission in an attempt to track down and contact as many friends-from-my-school-days as possible. I succeeded in small ways.
I contacted one school friend via 'Classmates.com' and we connected on a deep and meaningful level for many email conversations.
I had lunch with another school friend the day of the school reunion and she thought to invite another mutual school friend along with us (at the last minute) but she wasn't able to make it. So we had a great visit over a quiet lunch.
I went to the reunion with another school friend. We had a completely different set of friends as we walked through our high school years, so I didn't know a lot of her friends so the actual reunion was a small let down (but I found other ways to make the reunion a good memory).
I donned my Sherlock Holmes attitude and made a valiant attempt to contact friends-from-a-lifetime-ago. A few of those attempts appeared to be dead ends. That is, until yesterday.
In June of last year (fourteen months ago), I sent off a Facebook message to someone who may or may not have been a good friend during our junior high school years. Ironically, I had just checked that message a short time ago to find that it had never been read. "Oh well, at least I tried..." I thought to myself and chalked it up to a good (but failed) attempt.
Can you imagine my surprise when this friend acknowledged my message yesterday and confirmed that "Yes! I am that Cheryl!" and it spurred on a delightful exchange of Facebook messages throughout the evening that followed.
A person can't read a lot into a few words sometimes, but sometimes you can. Or at least you think you can. Her 'voice' sounded so very much like the girl I once knew. The passions that she had when I knew her are still a big part of her life. During our brief exchange, my heart was light and I was so proud of the person she (sounds like she) has become. Especially because underneath it all, it sounds as if she has been true to herself.
What does a person really know of another when it comes to brief messages that span the internet and (over) 36 years that have distanced you from a person you once knew?
There is a feeling. Just a feeling that seems to come across the page and reach out to me sometimes. This contact may be brief and go no further. Then again, we may become pen pals (email pals? Facebook pals? what is the new age equivalent of a pen pal since we rarely pick up a pen and write to someone these days??).
It was a brief encounter on a city bus, with a friend that I once knew well that makes me believe that some friendships are meant to be rekindled. Others? Maybe not. But it always feels good to know that someone remembers you in a good way.
It is my mission to make the most of these brief encounters. That friend that I crossed paths with on that city bus 34 years ago? Is a trusted and life-long friend that will always remain in my life. She may be one in a million but I believe in casting a wide net because you simply never know who may need a friend or may simply enjoy that feeling of being 'connected' to someone they once knew ...
Class reunions do not have to be large to be effective. Thirty six years is as good a year to celebrate as thirty five was. If I just so happen to track down another friend or two maybe we could have our own little reunion at Tim Horton's one stray Saturday that works. Or maybe even just an evening of messaging with a friend from a time long ago will suffice.
Little things mean a lot. Just keep reaching out in small ways. Reach back to those who reach out to you. Over a lifetime, it all adds up and makes a big difference.
It all matters. Every little thing...