Shared History

My high school through college friend called today. We touch base just a couple times a year and have marathon calls. We call for no specific reason, just need to catch up. I love visiting with my old (literally) and longtime friend. I answer my cell, and just like that, we are in synch. As if no years have passed us by, fifty-nine to be exact, we dive in and spend over an hour, usually more, sharing our present life and recalling the past. We can be serious, we can laugh or maybe both.

The subject of a certain loneliness arises. It isn’t that we don’t have friends, but as we get older, we long for those who identify with our history and all we experienced. She and I ruminate about the tricks we played, the boys we googled over, the tears we shed, and the abominable curfews. I had one, she didn’t. If I or my siblings didn’t walk into our house by midnight and perhaps one minute later, it was death row for us. I just could not fathom why my friend’s mother (her father had died when she was a young child) wasn’t waiting on her doorsteps, ready to give her a sentence with no parole if she was late. My friend was never, not ever sentenced. It’s just not fair! I whined to myself, clearly not my parents. No need for me to lengthen the time served.

When we visited today, we laughed over all our crazy doings. Like when we lived in an apartment together during college, we regularly called her ex-boyfriend’s fraternity and when he came to the phone, we lifted our voices into a false ear-hurting soprano range and sang the 1950’s song, “Be My Love” sung by Mario Lanza. I mean, we were nineteen then, where in the heck did we come up with an old operatic song? He tolerated our rendition for about half of the first line, then regularly hung up. We, of course, we were the laughingstock, but didn’t care and a couple days later, while attempting to study, looked at each other across the table and one of us said, “Let’s call him!” We picked up the phone, dialed the fraternity’s number, asked to speak to him, and burst into song once more. We didn’t care if it irritated him. I mean, it was so darn much fun and besides, he dumped my friend and found another girlfriend–his flavor of the month. There had to be some payback for this. Was he getting sick of our phantom phone calls? Maybe, but he did keep answering the phone. Could he possibly recognize our lovely out of range voices? We didn’t care. It was just s-o-o-o much fun.

I’m sure all of you have that friend or two from your younger days you share memories with. They were the ones who navigated the former, long ago paths of life with you, even though you eventually parted, both of you pursuing your own. We needed each other then and even now, as some of us reach our older years, facing health issues and losses. We still bring warmth into each other’s lives and what a gift that is. Fun, too.

2 thoughts on “Shared History

  1. You are so right Jackie. Nothing can replace those shared memories. They transcend time and place to make instant connections.

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