Rushing to answer it, I hear a disgruntled ‘little voice’ in the background sternly advising me to let it go to voice mail.
Determined not to allow my impatient eleven year-old to intimidate me, I ignore her demands and breathlessly answer the phone.
“Ce Judi est-il Colahan?"
Startled, I ask, “Excuse me?"
With a slight chuckle, the caller repeats himself, “Je, ce Judi a-t-il indiqué est-il Colahan?"
Now curious, my mind wanders… “I know this voice," I think to myself. “The accent… the pronunciation of my maiden name... even the laugh… OMG…"
“MICHEL? IS THIS MICHEL???"
Bursting into a hearty laugh, the caller enthusiastically shouts out, “Oui! Il est moi, Michel!"
It has been over thirty years since we’ve seen or heard from each other and, amazingly, our phone conversation that day was filled with the identical adoration and cheer we shared as friends many, many years ago….
And, thanks to Facebook, it doesn’t stop there; Facebook has unknowingly reconnected me with my most cherished friends from days gone by, including my very first playmate, Kathleen Bente, who I’ve unsuccessfully tried to locate throughout the years.
Although blessed with a number of recent acquaintances and friends, there is no denying that there’s a unique bond with those you’ve known all of your life. Most ‘old friends’ ‘understand the unspoken’ and don’t ‘need explaining’.
When my father had passed, my darling ‘old’ friends knew exactly who my father was, whereas my ‘new’ friends did not. It is impossible to describe the joy of having the right person relive defined memories with you.
Reconnecting with my childhood friends has at once been both self-serving and compassionate. We see each other as the way we were and, in return, are filling in the gaps of our memories beautifully. Separately we remember different patches but together we are recreating the tapestry of our childhood while treasuring new found ones.
The best part, for me, about finding my childhood friends is how we’ve easily slipped right back into intimacy. Because our relationships were formed during our youth and innocence, our trust and loyalty are unshakable. The distance and the miles are irrelevant. Hey, with over thirty years of separation, we may naturally have nothing in common as the adults we have become but that really doesn’t matter does it?
*** Bette Midler = “Friends" (no copyright infringement intended)