Old friends: a treasure

August 25, 2016

A longtime friend was feeling nostalgic one night, not too long ago, and emailed me with memories of a time he felt alone and we stepped up and were there for him.

We were so young, all those years ago, but it’s nice to remember that even that young, our hearts were in the right places. Old friends–there’s nothing like them.

His note started me thinking about our days as young marrieds. We had nothing, really, and lived in a pretty ratty apartment that passed for married students’ housing back in 1972. The Thanksgiving our friend referred to was our first as a married couple–we were just a few months past our wedding and two months into M’s first year of law school.  We’d left our families 1,300 miles behind to forge this new life together.  I can still see us in our mind’s eye, so adorable and stupid, yet so smart, too.

Oh, so young. We had no idea how life would unfold for us–together, apart, together–and absolutely no inkling that we’d end up in our 60s, together, in the San Francisco Bay area.

So many of our friends from those days have moved on, as we did, and we’ve lost touch.

But that sweet note and conversation made me not only nostalgic, but long for those days of total innocence. Those days when the prospect of the life ahead was fresh and new, the road was not yet paved and we could make what we liked of it.

That’s what I  miss about youth most. It’s not that aging brings wrinkles and memory problems. It’s that the road ahead is shorter and fairly predictable. Adventures are a little harder to come by.

I’ve always loved an open road, not knowing what was ahead, ready to explore.  And explore I did.

So I loved hearing from our old friend that night, even if his impetus to write was a bottle of Scotch. The feelings were there for us all and it was beautiful to revisit them and bask in the memories of that long ago time.

Old friends. Such a treasure.

29 comments on “Old friends: a treasure
  1. Peggy says:

    How timely. This past weekend I went to my 35th high school reunion. Really, it doesn’t seem that long ago but sometimes it feels like it happened in a past life.

    A little over 10 years ago, I received a note from an old friend…I hadn’t seen or heard from him in 25 years. In 4 weeks we celebrate 10 years of marriage. 😉

  2. I love my old friends. I have three and consider them blessings. We live far away from each other. My newer friends I cherish as well and have made incredible ones through blogging. But, again, we live far away. I see some once in awhile and others once or twice a year. It’s hard having friends so far. I don’t have as many to go to a movie to or shoot the breeze on a casual walk. Everything must be planned. I guess that’s how life is. People move and we live far. The key is to keep in touch, be flexible and love deeply. I surely do love, love, love my friends! Thanks for making me think about them, Carol.

  3. Leanne says:

    Old friends have a way of making us feel young again don’t they Carol? It’s like we step back in time and become our old/young selves again. There should be more moments like that.

  4. My best friends are still the ones that I made 35 years ago. Other people have come and gone, bu they are always there

  5. Tricia says:

    I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately as my daughter just started 10th grade and I don’t see her experiencing the kind of friendships that I had at that age. I don’t know if she just hasn’t come into her own yet and those adventures still await her in the next 10 years, but I certainly don’t want her to miss out on forming those bonds! I was telling her last night than even though time and distance separate me from my high school and college friends, when I do see them again it’s like coming home. I want that so much for her as well someday!!

  6. Anna Palmer says:

    I can’t imagine that you really think the road ahead is predictable. You are so flexible and adventurous. At least in your writing and travel. It is lovely to look back. I am going to send an email right now to an old friend…

  7. Diane says:

    Worth so much more than gold!

  8. tara pittman says:

    I love hearing about my old friends. I need to reconnect with some of them.

  9. Marie Mack says:

    Old friend really bring life into perspective. I know they will be true to themselves and me. They bring so much more enjoyment to life! Thanks for a great read.

  10. I have a friend of 35 years and we just got together the other night. It is as if when we see each other not often it is like we still have remained best friends.

  11. sue says:

    I felt a little sad when I read this Carol. I left my home in 1988 and moved with my husband and children to another State. We then separated and I cut off all of my friendships including family because I was embarrassed. I reconnected with some of my family and a 40 year school reunion reconnected me with friends I hadn’t spoken to in 30 years. We are now firm friends although I still don’t live in the same State as them but we talk via FB and email and when I get to Sydney I catch up. It was all such an innocent time but of course we are all busy racing to ‘grow up’ to enjoy it more.

  12. Yes, absolutely no friend like an old friend! There is something so special about someone who knew you “back when”.

  13. This is all so true! No matter how much time passes when you meet up with an old friend it’s like no time has passed at all! Good friends are very rare and need to be cherished.

  14. I agree! My old friend knows everything about me and she still love me haha. Great post!

  15. Elizabeth O. says:

    This is what I love about old friendships, you don’t have to see or talk to each other everyday to know that you’re still friends. They are a joy to have in your life, knowing that somewhere out there, there’s a person that you can talk to whenever you can or feel like it. This post made me think about a lot of old friends.

  16. There is something about old friends who knew you back when you were still forming into an adult that is incomparable. That being said, I love my “newer” friends too!

  17. Momina Arif says:

    This post is making me think of so many old friends I should reconnect with 🙂 Thank you for sharing

  18. Karlyn Cruz says:

    Oh, I should stay connected with my old friends. I will try finding them.

  19. I have an old friend that I still talk to almost daily. It is nice to have someone who knows me so well in my life.

  20. Cultivating and taking care of friendships is very important. I don’t have a huge circle of friends and we rarely see each other but the bond is still there.

  21. Milena says:

    That’s the one thing that I love about Facebook. The part where you can easily reach out and connect with old friends!

  22. Jamela Porter says:

    Sadly, I didn’t stay in touch with any of my old friends. I originally tried to stay in touch with them but they didn’t give the same effort.

  23. I love reconnecting with old friends!! It’s always fun to catch up on what is going on in their lives.

  24. Lisa Rios says:

    I very much agree that old friend are such a great treasure in your life & the golden memories are always there to cherish anytime! My best friend is someone who came in my life almost 25-years back and we are still the same!

  25. It is a fantastic feeling to reconnect with old friends…all those memories, especially those times when you were there for each other. Lovely post.

  26. Catching up with old friends in an amazing feeling and so very true that the oldest of friends are the most treasured. People change over time but I love when that bond never dissipates even with time or space.

  27. Ashley says:

    So true. I have been friends with someone since 2nd grade. We have such a great history and pickup right where we left off even if it has been years

  28. That was totally sweet of your friend to come up with something like that! I would really shed tears of joy if someone brought up a memorable part of my past with that certain person.

  29. kathy kenny ngo says:

    Friends really are reliable. best way to do to them is to treasure them. Thank you for this article.

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