Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Keeper of Memories

One of the primary reasons I blog relates directly to the keeping of memories.  I suppose that makes of my work here a Memoir of sorts.   In my estimation, that is a worthy pursuit.  Memories are often (though not always) a treasure, whether they be old & dust-laden, or fresh & new.  

In recent days I've had the amazing, unexpected and great pleasure of visiting memories old.  It all began like this ...

While scanning a Facebook post on Monday, I ran across & recognized a familiar surname.  As if born on a soft summer breeze, a memory of youth and my dear friend Linda arrived.  I hadn't seen her since the late 60s or early 70s, even though she'd come to mind on many ocassions over the years.  But with no way to contact her I abandoned any attempt to locate her, and once again tucked all related-memories away. 

But now, what with the advances on the internet, I wondered if there might be a way to track her down.  So I began checking Facebook and other sites ... to no avail. 

Then I remembered that Linda's brother worked for a local newspaper, so I began perusing for his name.  Score!  I found it, but was saddened to see that he had retired.  However ... in small print was an email address for him, though I had no way of knowing if it was current or not.  I sent a message anyway, then proceeded on with my day. 

Several hours lapsed and, while shopping at the local Sam's Club, I heard my cellphone ring.  I didn't recognize the incoming number, but I picked up the call anyway.  Incredulity & joy flooded my heart as I heard the caller ... "Kathy, this is Linda.  I can't believe this!" 

I suppose the rest is history; another new memory.  But it's not.  Yesterday - just a day following that serendipitous phone conversation - we met for lunch.  Straightaway tears flowed, so good was the meeting.  There were long moments of staring ... gazing into eyes and scanning faces to remember and rejoice in the remains of youth found there ... and the memories. 

For the next several hours we brought each other up-to-speed on life.  Oh the ground we've traveled since parting ways!  (A parting that was for no good reason beyond our lives having taken their own, different trajectories).  Laughter & tears are such a rare blend when handling a span of nearly 40 years. 

Within moments it became evident that both Linda and I had found our way to the Lord in the span since our parting; and almost at the same point in life & age.  She, a widow by the age of 27; and me, a disenchanted soul of a different sort at roughly the same age. 

It took very little time to discern that God had ordained our moments together ... now, as well as then.   So many memories have been kept in tact. 

As teens, Linda and I shared high school fun, first loves, secrets, sorrows, dances, fashion and so much more.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding.  I admired her tender heart & fun loving ways; her penchant for makeup & hairdos. She (as she shared yesterday) admired my smarts & strength; the relative quiet of my family. 
(That's Linda, the first on the left; followed by my sister, Carol;
then Terry's sister, Colleen; then on the far right another BFF, Jan)

Little did we know waaaaayyyyy back then, or even in the years intervening, that we would arrive at this new day ... AND that we'd admire so much more in, and about each other; or that we'd be penning new memories onto hearts forever bound by God's grace.  

Welcome back into my life, Linda.  I now remember how much I've missed you.

A friend knows the song in my heart and
sings it to me when my memory fails.
~Donna Roberts

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art....
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things
that give value to survival. 
~C.S. Lewis


Postscript:  Linda ... should you find your way to this particular post, just know how much I appreciate the new verbiage you've given me.  What I used to call: "My stupid years", will now - thanks to you - forever be: "The years I was working on my testimony."


RCUBEs said...

I love stories like these knowing that God surely was the One Who made the reunion possible...I'm so glad you tracked her down and may it be the start of filling in for those days you were not together. I bet that meeting was not enough to catch up! God bless you and your friendship!

Glenda said...

What a beautiful story God has woven into your lives!!

I like the C.S. Lewis quote!

Nancy said...

I love reading about reunions such as this....Isn't it amazing how God puts us back together at just the right moment......

Debbie said...

Oh I love this story. I have a couple of friends that I had a similiar type story about. I have a BFF who has been a close friend of mine since we were only 9 years old. We saw each other through soo much (high school, in each other's wedding, the birth of our first couple of babies) but became separated for reasons that were just about soo busy with our lives. We reunited 8 years ago and it was like we were never apart. I treasure her soo. I am soo happy for you that you have gotten this friendship back. God is sooo good to us!! He knows how much we women need this. Hope you had a good day!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well that's just something! I love the story and the connection you share with others. I know this was a special time of fellowship for you both, a renewal of friendship that will, undoubtedly, take on new dimensions in the days to come.


myletterstoemily said...

i recently reunited with my childhood
friend, so i know how joyful your
reunion was! so happy for you.

Denise said...

This is so sweet, very happy for you.

Terri Tiffany said...

Wonderful! I love when we reconnect with others and find even more than we thought we lost:)

Maryann said...

This is so sweet...I had one of those type of reunions a couple years back and was amazed at how quickly and easily conversation flowed even though it had been 25 years...we also had that common bond...sisters in the Lord. So happy that you were able to reconnect

Saleslady371 said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this reunion with Linda with so much detail and heart, Kathleen. No only for your sake, but I enjoyed every line of the telling! I think every one of us girlfriends out there have a "Linda" we wish we could reunite with! Great job.

Peggy said...

So happy that you got to reunite with an old friend and find that God has been working in both your lives all these years. God is good to allow us times like these.

Rita said...

What a wonderful post. Memories are so important and the older you get the more important they become in your life!

Just a little something from Judy said...

This is a beautiful illustration of all the large and tiny details that our Soverign God weaves into our lives, for His glory and our enjoyment. I love stories like this one, and I know what a gift of encouragement this must have been for you. So good to see your new updated blog, and to have the privilege of reading thoughts from your heart again. I really missed that.

Sonja said...

I've missed you Sassy Granny! This was a beautiful way to 'catch up' again, insluding, end even especially, the click over to the days of the building of your testimony. I love it! Every one of us is a book, and yours is so meaningful to my heart.


Karen Lange said...

How exciting! It was a blessing to hear of how you reconnected. What fun you'll have yet, catching up and getting to know each other more. I'm rejoicing with you! :)

Nel said...

How exciting. I love when that happens! A true friend is one whom no matter how long or how many miles have been between you you pick up like you just seen them yesterday. I have a friend like that and I talked to her on the phone today for 2 hours, first time in probably a year. Sweet reunions!
until next time... nel

Debbie said...

I love the internet and how we can reconnect with friends. What an exciting story and especially that you discovered she became a Christian about the same time as you. A God ordained friendship and reunion!

Love you,

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I'm not sure how I've missed reading your blog until today! I've seen you comment on several other blogs I read. This post was really grand! I also had a "reunion" with a dear friend a few months ago and it's been so wonderful to correspond and talk again even though we don't live near each other.

I'll be back to visit again now that I know where you "live". :)

Nezzy said...

What a wonderful story and I'm thrilled you two got to enjoy lunch and memories together. Fun!!!

You two are so darn stinkin' cute in those pictures...than and now!

God bless ya and have a fantastic weekend sweetie!!!

Beth E. said...

Oh, I'm so glad you reconnected with your friend, Linda! The picture of you is great...two beautiful ladies!