We left Japan when I was 25 years old. It had been my home since I was 21. When hubby and I were transferred to Japan, I thought it would never feel like home. I was so wrong. The time we spent there was wonderful. It was life changing and those years are years that I cherish in memory.
From Japan, we travelled to Downeast Maine. Arriving in Maine, I felt lost. I missed my friends from overseas and I longed to be with them. Of course, we had met Nana and Biggie and our dear son-in-law and his sister, but we didn’t know many others at first.
We found a church home, thanks for the family who would one day truly be family and that is where we began to fall in love with Maine.
There was a family at the church in Maine who sort of adopted us as part of their family. They opened up their home to us and shared their family times and several meals with us. We would visit one another and spend the weekends with each other.
We have kept in touch and have returned to Maine a few times to visit. The last time we saw them was in the early 90’s. Life gets busy. Too busy at times. We thought of them often and wondered how they were doing. In the midst of life taking over, the letters became fewer, and the phone calls even less. Soon, we had just the memories of the times we had shared and the times of thinking of them and talking about the times we had shared with them.
A couple of years ago I did one of those Facebook things where you begin to look up everyone you have known in your life. I typed in the name of this couple. Sure enough, there they were. We ‘friended’ and soon we were reconnected with one another.
In thinking of this family, I am very thankful. They were a major part of our young lives and we learned from them several things. They etched a place in our hearts that cannot be filled by any other. I came to think that the memories and the time of Facebook sharing would be how this story ended. I was grateful that I have those.
Last night this couple pulled into our driveway. It wasn’t an unexpected visit as we had arranged to have them stop on the way to their grandson’s graduation from boot camp. I prepared our dinner and set the table and was ready for them to arrive. I felt the excitement growing the closer they got.
When they pulled into the driveway, I was waiting on the porch enjoying a warm fall day. I walked down the steps to greet them. The hugs of friends never changes. Hugging each of them it occurred to me that I never thought I would be able to do that again. I figured that those days were forever gone and I would just remember them.
We shared dinner together and talked into the night. I have often thought that good friends are those in which you can continue a conversation that was paused when you last parted. That was how the conversation was last night. Easy, relaxing, filled with humor and laughter. I sat watching hubby and this other man in an animated conversation. They enjoyed themselves immensely. I watched the body language of the two men, they were comfortable with one another. In the middle of my reverie, the woman looked at me, touched my arm and said to me, “It’s like the years never passed. Just like old times.”
This couple is in their 70’s. The four of us remarked that we couldn’t figure out where the years had gone.
Before heading to bed last night, the man looked at me and told me that he felt blessed in having my hubby as a friend. He went on to say that in all his years he had few friends that meant as much as my hubby did to him.
The honesty of his comment made me think that too often, we are not as open and honest in conveying our love to our friends. Lives change in a twinkling of an eye and we are never promised our next breath.
So, I have observed how we should be often. Open, loving and caring. For those of you reading, who know me and are friends of mine, I love you. Each of you have touched my life in a way that no one else could. There is an indelible mark on my heart that bears your signature. Without you, I would not be me.
For those blogging friends I have discovered, thank you. Each of you, with your comments and ‘likes’ of my posts, you too, have left your mark. You have challenged me in my writing. You have encouraged me and made me laugh and cry. My life would not be as rich as it is now without you.
So, my observation is easy…. appreciate people in your life. It’s an easy thing to do when we take the time. Thanks for stopping by today. DAF