Thursday, November 02, 2006

Old Friends

I've been thinking about old friends lately. Funny, isn't it how people are your friends and they come in and out of your life... sometimes go out and never in again, sometimes go, reenter, leave again and come back. Even though you might never see them again, they leave an indelible mark somewhere on your life.

Nancy Dewar. She was in my kindergarten class. I remember her not sharing the teeter totter with me and kind of snarling at me that she and Melissa were playing on it. I'd never had any kids be mean like that to me before. I stepped back. Gave in. Walked away.

Alan Cadow. He lived across the street and was a year older than me. He was cute and I loved his older sister Cathy. I wanted that name... she had long chestnut hair and was a teenager in the 60's when I was just a kid. I wanted to be like her. Alan and I were pals. We climbed trees together, went sledding, and played outside all day on those endless summer days in elementary school. The Cadow's moved away when we were 10 or 11, but our families kept in touch. A couple years later I found out that Alan had died of leukemia. Before he died his parents let him take flying lessons and I always wondered if they helped him to get to heaven when he died.

Andrew. He was my friend in first grade. In the back of the room we would play batman and other superhero games. I was sometimes batgirl, and sometimes the femme fatale. I don't remember his last name but he is about all I remember about first grade... except that it was the first time I ever saw clock hands move when I was watching it.

Judy Parnes. She lived in Endwell. In the development. It was a maze of streets and I always wondered how the kids that lived there ever found their way around and didn't get hopelessly lost when they walked home from school. I went to play at her house a couple times. It was like a foreign country because they had so many kids there they could choose who to play with (we were stuck with the kids in our little neighborhood or nobody). I had my first red delicious apple at Judy's house. I couldn't believe an apple could taste like that! Apparently we always got 2nds or ate the ones from Mrs. Hesses old wormy orchard. I got in trouble once in 5th grade when I got Judy out of class for something "important". I had to show her a paper watch I'd made...Mrs. Lavin didn't think it was as important and she knocked me on the head with her gnarly knuckles and embarassed me in front of the class. Point taken.

Marsha and Marge Baldwin. Can't have one without the other. They were twins going to our church when I was a kid. I remember one of the first times I met them in Sunday School. I couldn't tell them apart, though they were fraternal and later couldn't believe I hadn't been able to. Their hair was the same. They dressed the same. They were best friends. I don't know how they managed to share all their friends with each other but they did. I was equally friends with both of them and appreciated them for their own individual personalities.

Craig Russell. He wasn't my friend. He was a guy in the youth group my parents ran when I was a kid. I thought he was my friend but I had to have been 8 years old when he was 17. But he talked to me and made jokes with me like I was his friend. At a retreat one time his girlfriend had broken up with him and he was showing me all the Hymn titles that reflected his grief...

These are only a few of the hundreds and hundreds of people I remember from my childhood... not even including all the people from my high school and camp.

I loved each one of them in some way... I learned from a lot of them. Many I still know, or know of, or have heard about where they are or what they are doing. Some I know I'll never see again... but they are still a small part of me... or a large part... Some I hope to reconnect with and spend some time with again... Debbie, Kristi, Jodie, Marsha and Marge...

I miss you all... love you all... wonder about you and hope that I see at least some of you again somewhere...

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