I've returned from a trip out east which included my 25th college reunion. Because I grew up in Massachusetts, I still feel like I'm "going home" each time I travel there, and we visit quite regularly - we fly into Boston, get to experience the Boston traffic and visit the city if we have time. Even so, we don't typically drive into Cambridge or MIT. The last time I was on the MIT campus was three years ago, and while that visit was nice (read about it here), is wasn't nearly as fun. The difference two weekends ago was the addition of old friends, which made me realize those friends are what made the visit so special.
I loved seeing my friends Amy and Deb. We were all Chemical Engineering majors (Course 10 for those familiar with MIT speak), which meant we logged hours working problem sets, studying for tests and running lab experiments together. More important than being classmates and lab partners, each woman provided a shoulder to cry upon, a listening ear and a beacon of support. We helped each other maneuver the years of transition into adulthood. We were missing one friend's presence - Robin. Robin, Amy and I traveled to Europe upon graduation and embarked on a month long adventure from the UK to France, Italy, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands. It's a trip I will never forget. Such are lifelong friends - we exchange holiday cards each year, attended or served in each other's weddings and watched our families grow.
|We were Young Once|
Close friends are special because it takes time to cultivate those relationships. Opening yourself to a new person leaves you vulnerable and open to rejection - at least it does for me. I estimate it took me at least three years once I moved here to really feel like I had a good group of friends and I am so blessed to have them.
|Vegas, Baby! November, 2010|
Friends are important for my kids and I love that each has a great group. Having the right friends is crucial in this crazy world they are growing up in.
This past year has given me more change in the friendship department than I really care for - one good friend moved away, another one is about do the same. I had new friends enter and friends disappear. Regardless, each friend has shaped and influenced my life. You never stop thinking about the close friends, any reconnection feels like they never left - you can pick right back up without missing a beat. Such is the mark of a special friend, with whom you can talk with about anything, who will listen and not judge what you have to say.
Special friends will do lots of crazy things with you!
|Canoeing in the Rain - Turkey Run|
Social Media sites (yes, Facebook and the like) make staying in touch with old friends so easy, but there is nothing quite like reconnecting with friends in real life, even if you have to travel across the ocean to do so.
|Friends Reunited in Italy, 2010|
|College Roommates in the UK, 2013|
|Friends from Indiana - at the British Museum, 2013|
Unfortunately, there are friends I will never see again - Tom and Ed, specifically.
|Tom Murray, Summer 1988|
|"No Love, No Friendship can cross the path of our Destiny without leaving some Mark on It Forever" - Francois Mauriac|
My friend, Kellie is moving away this weekend and we will miss her so. But we also know our friendship contains a special bond that is not easily severed. We will always be close in spirit. She posted this quote a few days ago.
“Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone." - Vincent van Gogh
Reach out and be a friend, or reconnect with one today. You will be forever changed.