We had a delightful surprise last week. The son of good friends we knew in college (and my dear wife knew in high school) is beginning grad school at a university near us, and so son and his wife and baby, AND their parents (our old friends) spent nearly a week with us while son and his family were finding a place to live and getting settled.
Old friends are remarkable. When we got together it was like we'd lived next door to one another instead of having decades between us and our last visit. We found we still share many interests in common, and we've even had preferred TV shows, books and movies in common after all these years.
And it's not like our paths have been similar. I'm a career corporate guy and my wife is a SAHM; our friends are fiercely entrepreneurial, carpe diem kinds of folks. Yes, we've all stayed active in the church, but even our church experience has been unique because of where we've lived.
But still, the things that make us friends, the shared history (even if long ago) and the ties of love and friendship still endure all these years later.
It's made me reflect on why some friendships last (like this one) and others seem to fade as our circles of shared interest or activity migrate away from one another. To be sure some friendships fade because the bonds were never in place; they may have been driven by a shared activity or geography but never deepened enough to withstand distance and time apart. Others may fade because one or the other person changes enough to strain the common bonds -- a change in political views or religious practice may make the relationship too uncomfortable for one or the other.
I yearn for close friendships. Seeing our old friends this week, and staying up late into the night each night despite the need to get up for work the next morning, reminded me of the happiness of shared experience, shared trust, shared love and support. The bond we have with these friends is unique for us. Though we have other friends, I don't know that our other friendships will ever stand the test of time and space that this one does.
How fortunate to have these friends to bless our lives.