There’s an old campfire song that says, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold. A circle is round, it has no end; That’s how long I will be your friend.”
On a day like yesterday, I received so many wonderful birthday wishes from all over the country - from people I haven't seen in a while, and I was reminded just it is so nice to be connected. It made me really think about friendships throughout the years. (Here are some pictures of some of those people.)
|Sixth Grade at Lawrence Intermediate School|
During every phase of life, you meet a slew of new people. Some of them come into your world and make a wonderful impression, but then slip out of your circle of friends because of time or space. But the important ones always find their way back.
|Lawrence High School (junior year)|
Other people stay in your life’s colander, never slipping through the holes. There are those who you know are constants – the ones who have been with you since childhood, or college, or maybe the key people you met when you first arrived at a new job. These are the souls who really know you. They’ve seen you ugly cry. They know what you look like first thing in the morning.
|Winthrop girls in Charleston (sophomore year??)|
A quality of each friendship can’t be measured in the same way. In every part of our lives, we need and want different things from friends, and we have unique memories of each person. We may even touch people in ways we don’t know. There are those that you know will be permanent. These are the people who we know we can always call when we REALLY need them – even if we haven’t talked in a while.
|Tanya's baby shower at Kim's house|
I recently had someone share with me a memory of something that I had done for her 11 years ago that was meaningful to her. I had no recollection of it at all. You just never know what will touch people. A word, or a gesture, or a card at just the right time that seemed insignificant to you, may have been just the right thing. No matter what, people who take care of other people are gifts to be cherished.
|In the Christmas spirit after a N&R bake sale.|
And just because you lose touch with someone doesn’t mean that they weren’t important – it might just mean that you both have other things going on. Inevitably, your paths will always cross again. During the past year and a half, I have been overwhelmed with the love and friendship and goodwill that came to me, both when I left the News & Record, and now that Jay and I are leaving North Carolina.
|The N&R gang.|
It makes me think that maybe the song isn’t quite right. I think the friends song – at least the one that I relate to – isn’t an either or proposition. I think I’m looking for more of a mixed metal bracelet. What makes the circle strongest is all of the piece together – and they will never let the chain of silver AND gold break.
|Dioni's tubing adventure on the Dan.|
The Gold and Silver friends in my life have found wonderful spaces together, and I will miss all of them in their own way. And I can’t wait to make new ones in our new space.