“No one knows you, like they know you, and no one probably ever will.” ~Ben Rector
In 1964, when I was just three years old, my parents bought a brand new home in a newly built subdivision in a suburb of Denver.
My first friend, Dallas, lived two doors up from me. Almost every memory I had as a child, includes Dallas. We walked to school together, did homework together, and had frequent sleep overs at each other’s house.
When Dallas and I were in grade school and junior high, we added more friends to our little tribe, and by the time we were in high school, we had a close knit group of nine.
Dallas, who loved books and horses. Valerie, a gorgeous blonde, who could do calculus in her head. Laura Bing, who let me sneak to her house to watch football. Laura Bong who taught me the meaning of stylish.
Tammy, who was funny and smart. Carina, who was caring and generous. Kind, strong and loyal, Joan, and Jennifer, who had the sweetest disposition and most compassionate soul of anyone I’ve ever met.
We grew up, got married and some of us moved away, but our friend Valerie made it her life’s mission to keep track of all of us – for that I am eternally grateful.
In 1990, I made a rare trip to Colorado and a few of us met in downtown Denver for lunch. Valerie and I brought our kids, and I also brought my Mom who, thankfully, took this photo because not one of us remembers this now. Such as it is to get old – ha!
No one ever knows how much time they’ll have on this earth, and unfortunately, our friend Jenny’s time was short. I’m so thankful I made it to Denver during the summer of 2018 and was able to spend some time with Jenny and my other precious friends. Although Jenny is gone, she lives on through our love and memories.
In June 2019, forty years after graduation, we came together again. It was the first time, in almost 30 years, that I saw my first, best friend, Dallas. Valerie and Barb made the reunion as well. It was bittersweet, without our Jenny, and we missed the others who were unable to make it, but what a glorious and memorable afternoon it was.
For me, there’s something about being with old friends, that is very grounding. They remind you of who you were in the beginning of life – who you really are at your core. New friends are nice, but they can’t do that for you.
I don’t know how long it will be until we’re all together again. I just hope and pray that we don’t wait for another funeral.
Thank God for old friends. You don’t have to make them, they’re already there. And I’m so thankful for mine.