I never intended to have a facebook account. After all, I already had two email accounts and belonged to two groups on line. But due to pressure from the teens at church......."Miss Cyndi, you HAVE to get a facebook account"..........., I finally succumbed to the pressure and signed up.
Recently, I have reconnected with people that I have not talked to in 20 years! People that lived together with me in the state of misery, and the state of Missouri (simultaneously). It has been so good catching up on 20 years of joys, sorrows, and accomplishments. Most of us were in seminary together, dirt poor, excited about what God had in store for us, but living it all by faith and a little grit. It's very interesting to see where God has led us, and just how much we've changed, yet stayed the same though it all.
So although I had my doubts about facebook and I don't get involved in all the flair, hugs, booty shaking, and gift flinging, I do enjoy occasionally having a talk with some old friends and seeing photographs. (We all know how I love photographs.)
I am definitely a people person through and through in that when I make a friend, well, they are a friend for life, unless they tell me to go hang myself or something. For me, even if we have been separated by time, distance, or circumstance, my friends still live in my heart. All the things that I appreciated about them when I knew them are just as special to me now as they were then because they helped shape who I am today. To me, their contributions to my life are just as valuable to me now as they were when they made them, because I still feel that they are a part of me.
And, I left part of me with them and I often hope that what I left with them was a blessing to them as well. I have found that time allows me to look past the things that were hard and hurtful and remember, appreciating the things that were positive and a blessing. None of us are perfect and circumstances can be devastating to relationships. And very often, as 20 some years of ministry has taught us, many times relationships end badly because of mis-perceptions of those circumstances. And often too, once the damage is done, it's done. That makes my heart hurt. Life is way too short to be losing friends over things that aren't perceived correctly.
I've found over the years that many people tend to move on without taking those friendships with them. And I have to admit, it hurts. Some of those people were like children to me. And I am like the proverbial parent who sits at home thinking of their children while their children are all over the world, living their lives, not thinking at all about me. Of course, that is healthy for them. Children are supposed to grow up and move out and move on. But I sure do like it when occasionally they return "home" and leave a message for me on my wall.
One friend that I just reconnected with, and I, parted in some rather strange circumstances. But those aren't the things I remember about her. I hope it was reassuring to her to hear how much she had blessed me during those years of friendship, before the weird circumstances brought our friendship to an abrupt halt. But it only took a moment to get passed what separated us and reconnect with all those things that had drawn us so closely together.
I don't think a person can have too many friends, although having hundreds of "close" friends is impossible. But friends, past and present, are the ones who helped draw the road map of our lives. And when you return in your thoughts to places you've been before, well, you just can't help remembering all those who were there at the same time you were, and appreciating them for who they were to you, even if things ended badly.
Some are lost forever, but their contributions to my life are not forgotten nor unappreciated. And I still hold out hope that reconciliation might come. My life has been enriched and stretched and shaped by them. And I am thankful.