Monday, April 09, 2012

A voice from the past

Years ago, when my children were young, there was an unmarried pediatrician on the hospital staff with my ex. He became a family friend, often a regular at the dinner table--he'd just drive in the driveway, but there was always enough food. Oh, there was the night the teenage daughter of friends, living with us to complete her senior year, said,"Why does he always come on the night we're having salmon croquettes!" But he was welcome and fun.
He dated a flight attendant named Jackie, who flew for Northwest. At this point, I have no idea how they met, but Jackie was also at our house a lot and she and I became fast friends. I'm not sure which came first, but I think they split up and then he moved to the Northwest. Jackie and I kept in touch a bit but eventually lost touch. I had no idea where she was, how to find her, but over the years, I thought of her often and wondered about her.
A few days ago on Facebook someone named Jackie contact me and asked if I remembered her. I asked if she were that Jackie, and she wrote, "Yes, that would be me." We were so excited to hook up again that we exchanged lots of emails that day. Our lives have gone divergent paths--she flew until she retired eight years ago, is married but no children, close to nieces and nephews so feels like she has grandchildren. And sounds happy. When I said she'd have to come visit, she said it would be a while--the children keep her busy. I do hope we can maintain the friendship. Among other things, we have cooking in common.
One of the problems I've found with blogging is that people know all about you and don't think to respond--they sort of think we're in touch when it's one-sided and I know nothing about what's going on in their lives. Thank you, Barbara A., my BFF, as the teens say today, from high school, for not falling into that trap--I love our correspondence.
About a year ago, I heard from another friend, who goes even farther back. Her husband was an intern when my ex was doing his surgical residency. She and I were close, and the four of us did some things together, though he was sort of prickly. They moved to a suburb, he established a practice, and one day she was gone--left him. No farewell, no idea what happened to her. She, too, wrote me--she's in Texas which is closer than Jackie in Ohio, and we brought each other up to date. But I haven't heard since. Jan, if you're out there, let me hear.
That my friends is one of the joys of Facebook. What's the saying--new friends are silver, old are gold, keep the new but treasure the old. I do treasure old friends. Many of those to whom I was once close are scattered about the country now--Santa Fe, the D.C. area, Atlanta, Omaha--and not all are good communicators. Listen up, people. Treasure those times we had together and nurture friendships!
And there are people who were in and out of my life that I wonder about now. Strange--some friendships are forever, others transitory.

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