FRIENDS FOR LIFE
Interesting title, don’t you think? What does it really mean. As young children, we swore friends forever by crossing our fingers. Girls even had a sure fire method by crossing pinkies. Boys? I’ve heard they beat each other up and a bond is created.
What does this picture reveal? It was sent to me by a lifetime friend, Jim Ed Riley from Gatesville, Texas, who more than once in high school demonstrated he was a loyal friend. Little did I know back then in tenth grade, I would hear from him years ago in an article he wrote about his favorite redheads, One lady with this hair color was our favorite English teacher, and the other redhead, you guessed it, was me.
I would love it if Jim Ed would post that article here, but for now, let me tell you, just because we are life time friends, doesn’t mean we always stayed in touch. That’s the thing about friends for life. We drift apart. Jim Ed and I did. But when we reconnect, it’s like we never parted. More like we were lost in space, called time, and when we found each other again, that special friendship is still there.
Another surprising fact. We think we know each other so well, but friends for life can surprise each other. Jim Ed is a writer -and a good one. He is admin for Gus Koch’s Gatesville 1884 public group page where he writes about all things Texas, which I love, and bids everyone good night at the end of his day. And the pictures! Great! Why do I follow that FB page?
Even though I connect with its admin, I remember some of the followers from -how many years ago?- I follow it because I love folks who find a sense of purpose. On the surface, Jim Ed seems to be touting Gatesville and surrounding areas, but I think the importance is his linking people. Keeping them together, friends for life. I read some of the replies and posts, and amazed at what friends remember and want to talk about.
The group is a true respite. Sometimes a trip back in time, but also a truly quiet place to land. When folks friend to this group, they really mean ‘friended.’
I have a few other friends for life. mostly people I met at work years ago, Work is a wonderful place to bond. Mary always Mary, thirty years Mary. Y’all know about her. Pat, who amazingly in retirement does exactly what she wanted to do, not what others told her was best. Today , she lives in a lovely cottage she built and has tea parties with her granddaughters.
I was asked as a security question recently to write down my first very first best friend’s name. Easy , Mary Ellen. I don’t see her, but I remember. Boy, do I remember. We have some catching up to do.
But it was Jim Ed who kept my secrets, told me over and over, I could do whatever I decided to do, emails old pictures to me like the one above. He is there in that virtual space where we all need him. My friend for life.
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