A recent reconnect with old friends on facebook prompted me to write the following blog entitled "Reunited and it feels so good"
For most of my life I have been envious of those who have either remained in the towns they grew up in or who have kept their connections with friends from their home towns.
For me it seemed like such things were just meant not to be. When I left for college I hated to leave my friends but wanted desperately to get as far away as I could from my parents and a home life which was unbearable for me.
As they say, watch out for what you ask for. It seems as if fate took over from there. Several years after graduation my parents moved fom my old town of bay Shore (actually Brightwaters). In addition I married young, became a father and was soon drafted. Between stints at various colleges, military tours and job moves we lived all over the country and states like Texas, nebraska, North Carolina twice, Virginia twice, Upstate NY and finally here in jacksonville, FL.
Class reunions came and went and while I had hoped to attend them on each occasion they either coincided with a birth, job move or some crisis or another which kept me from attending and reconnecting with my old friends and classmates.
Over time I finally gave up on the idea figuring no one would remember me any way.
I have been fortunate, in recent years, to return to LI and Bay Shore for either business or pleasure. Whenever I did so I would take a cruise through my old neighborhoods, past the HS, through the town and over to either Gilgo or Cedar Beaches for a surf. Whenever I did so my mind would be flooded with old memories of friends and things we had done together.
At times I would see familiar faces but was affraid to go up to the person and find out they were not who I thought they were. As for myself, and most likely anyone who has been disconnected with old friends for an extended period of time, our friends and the memories of them are frozen in time. They don't age. I always picture them as they were way back when and can not conceive of their changing and aging even if I myself have.
There have been many times I have wanted to re-connect but was a bit afraid to. I had been able to reconnect with several friends over the years but unfortunately those reunions were either not lasting or negative ones.
I am a person who highly values friendships and family relationships but also one who has been hurt deeply by certain friends and family members. As such I guess I have been a bit reluctant to reconnect out of fear of getting hurt. I worried that either they would not remember me or that I had somehow hurt them or let them down and they would not want to re-connect.
In addition, I have such a vivid memory of things (prior to my numerous concussios and damaged brian cells from earlier poor drinking habits) and worried people might look at me with blank stares if I started to relive events with them.
In truth, I think about my friends from my early years quite often. I often pull out my old yearbook look at their pictures and entries and wonder how they were and what became of them. I would also relive adventures and times we had together and smile.
I quess my reluctance to go onto the computerand click of the site where you re-connect with HS friends and clasmates had a lot to do with being afraid that those old memories and feelings would be shattered.
Recently, I was invited by a friend to join facebook. While I am not a huge fan of the computer and of social sites I decided to do so in order to become a part of the 21st century. In hindsight it was probably one of the best things I have done as miraculously it allowed me to re-connect with my past and some of my dearest friends.
I have been fortunate to have made a lot of new friendships over the years. I greatly value those friendships and those people have been a steadying and positive force in my life. But there has always been a void in me from not having a connection with my past and my old friends.
There is a special connection one has with those friends that can not be duplicated.
They were the ones who knew me when I was the shy, insecure goof I was who accepted me for what and who i was. They were either first loves, pals I pulled pranks with or who patiently listened to my complaints about my parents or who knows what else. They were also the ones you shared dreams with.
As the old saying correctly states "make new friends and keep the old. One is silver and the other gold".
Thanks to Facebook and my friends who sought me out I now have the chance to finally re-connect with those (I hate to say old but at this point we really are) old firends. It may also turn me into a facebook junky.
So here's to some wonderful reunions. Mahalo