Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Gifts We Give…Ourselves

In the end the best gifts we give ourselves are the family and friends we embrace and hold dear. The memories we treasure of moments gone past. A wise man, eons gone by, once said, “You can’t take it with you.” I’m pretty certain he was talking wealth, fame, and toys, because love you take with you.

For a year I’d planned a trip in April for my friend’s birthday. You know when you meet a person and they answer something in your heart; like you’ve come home? He is that kind of a person. While I’d never met him face to face, from our contact online I knew he was one of those special people who just fit perfectly into my life and my heart. I had wanted Ducky to take the trip with me, but in the long run I went alone…and had a great time. I spent the next four days in gleeful anticipation of the next event, next person I’d met, the next great adventure. Despite missing Ducky it was worth every moment and I collected a new friend or three a long they way.

Friends are worth their weight in silver and gold.

With the expansion of information on the Internet no one can really hide, unless they began covering their trails long before. In the year past I’ve reconnect with several long lost friends and miss placed relatives – a gift to myself. My father’s passing last December made me try a little bit more to reconnect; he’d successfully done so with several cousins/friends in the short years prior to his passing. I admired that he could chat with his cousins, on the other side of the country, phone for hours. In the earliest years they would meet up at the Furby family reunions in West Virginia. He made the effort to reconnect and then held them dear.

From the time I was two, until age 17 I lived on the same street, in the same house, with the same friends. I loved my neighborhood, my childhood friends remain dear to my memory even though we’ve grown and moved on to become other people. I moved to Oregon three quarters through my junior year. Few friends remained in touch. Okay really one, but through her I have been able to reach out to others. This year, hopefully, we will meet in Las Vegas for an “Old Neighborhood Reunion” I am excited and can’t wait. Yes, they will be different, yes they will have different likes/dislikes, passions and focus, but there is one thing we all have that is similar and that is our beginnings. We share many of the same childhood stories. Michael and I got caught at the age of five playing doctor. Sadly, in a fit of childish anger I broke one of the controls for his race car track (this still bothers me.) My mother taught him and his siblings to swim. And they would sleep over in our back yard on hot summer nights. My mother was his den mother, his father drove me to the emergency room when I split my chin on the edge of the bathtub. Childhoods intertwined.

Just a few months ago I reconnected with Pam. Oh the trouble Pam I could have gotten into…but we were pretty sneaky, well that and as we got older we ran in different crowds. She is excited about a reunion. And I am happy to rekindle a childhood friendship. Do I think that we’ll become BBF’s? No, but her renewed friendship I am enjoying. When I emailed her she wrote me back with wonder and joy and that was enough for me.

Over the years since Classmates and Reunion went on line I’ve searched for a friend or three, each escaped me. Until this year. Finally I saw one name I’d been searching for, we’d been somewhat inseparable in high school. I sent her an email and she replied fairly fast. We up dated each other on our lives and activities. And then she quit writing. I am happy to know she is well and thriving in Orange, but I am sad that we are too different to connect further. I wish her Godspeed and a full life.

As I look ahead to 2009 it is with joy that I looked behind me during 2008. My friends are a true gift to me, whether they be childhood buddies, long lost cousins, or new found family they are my gifts the things I can take somehow from this plane to the next; they are the wealth I embrace to my soul.



Phoenix Touch said...

I feel excited when I read this post, Cele! I love connecting and reconnecting like you are doing here and have successfully reconnected with, pretty much, everyone with whom I wish to reconnect. And, indeed, it IS a great self-gift.

Anonymous said...

And how fortunate I was to have met you as well when you traveled in April to meet that good friend. I actually came across those photos from the party the other day. It was a good reminisce with my mother (of all people). It was the same day as my "friend" discussion I had with her.

To reconnect in 2009 with someone from the past would be a nice thing to look into. I can recall the trips I took in 1995 to meet my "long lost brother" who I chatted with through the Internet (AOL) and it was the hardest to have to leave him and return home. We've met each other about 5 times since. But we are in contact all the time.

Happy New Year! May it be a healthy and prosperous one!

Cele said...

Abgue congrats on your art showing, I wish you many sales. Connecting with old friends is really envigorating.

Steve, that is a day that will remain with me forever, I too was just looking at the picture the other day, it was delightful to find so many new friends at Sid's. Most excellent that you are some how connected to your long, lost brother. I don't know how you lost him, but I am glad you reconnected with him.