Forty years ago I was happily married (or so I thought) with four young children. We had good friends, also happily married (so they thought) with three children about the ages of ours. Both husbands were doctors—I throw that in though I’m not sure what it tells. The two families shared many dinners, pool parties, holidays—we were close friends.
Then, almost simultaneously, we both divorced. For a year or two, Nancy and I went out to dinner, but we mostly talked about what was wrong with our exes—we had neither one sought the divorce—and I guess that got to be burdensome. She was busy with her work as an OR nurse, eventually in charge of a large staff, and I was working and raising my babies. We drifted apart, and I didn’t hear from her for years. Thirty years we decided today.
A month or so I looked her up in the phone book, called, and she sounded delighted. But it didn’t work out for her to plan a get-together right then. Maybe early last week, she called, and we arranged to have dinner on Friday night. Then a bug of some kind got my stomach, and I had to cancel. So today we finally had lunch. She lives downtown but came to my part of town, and I thought of taking her to a small, quiet sandwich shop—but it was closed. So we went to Carshon’s, the deli where she said she hadn’t been in years. Apparently she had a hunger for corned beef, so all was good.
It was interesting to me that we didn’t do a lot of “Remember when” stuff. We talked about what we’re doing today, what and where our children are, how we like retirement. There was no regret for the past. I found Nancy to be as full of fun, wit and laughter as she always was. At one point she looked at me and said, “We’ve had interesting lives, haven’t we?” and I agreed. Some of our today stories are tinged with sadness, but for the most part we agreed that we are so much better off single and we are happy with our lives.
Yes, we have happy memories but also some unhappy ones, and I’m glad we’ve both put them behind us. Now that we’ve reconnected, I’m sure we’ll see each other again and more often. I told her one mutual friend sent love, and she said, “Oh, I’d love to see her.” So next time I cook for Linda, I’ll invite Nancy.
Reconnecting is really good. Got an old friend you haven’t heard from in years? Give him or her a call. Some people just aren’t good communicators, and whoever it is might be really glad to hear from you. I recommend it.