Friend, Found

There is nothing more valuable than a friend, especially when friendships endure over the years.

I have many old friends. There's Becky and Dorothy, who are part of my earliest memories. There's Kim, who I met when we were seven years old, 43 years ago. There's Naomi, with whom I grew very close in adolescence.

Then there are friends who came into my life later. Friends like Helen from New York and Kim (a different Kim than the one mentioned above) from Florida, both of whom I met at different jobs and with whom I immediately clicked, despite us belonging to different age groups (Helen is a generation older than me, Kim about a dozen years younger).

And there's Glenda. When I was new to Florida, I took a temp administrative job, and one of the guys I worked for was married to Glenda (at that time, anyhow). She came in occasionally to meet him for lunch, and we started chatting and soon discovered that we were both from the Northeast (I retain my Noo Yawk twang to this day). Glenda was self-employed, and eventually she called and offered me a job, which I took.

I worked for Glenda for a few years. She was a big believer in flex time, and allowed me to take time off to attend classes to learn medical terminology so I could work as a transcriptionist. We worked together well as employer and employee, but became much better friends after I left her employ. Born just one day apart the same year (she's a day older - ha!), we see many things the same way.

I knew Glenda had relocated to a drab Midwestern city for purposes of work, a few years ago. When I called her cell phone on her birthday the following year, I reached a weary-sounding but pleasant young man who answered informed me that this was no longer Glenda's number. I had the distinct impression that he'd been receiving birthday calls all day for her, poor man. I kept hoping we could somehow connect, and I dedicated my latest book, If These Walls Could Talk, to her ("To Glenda, Wherever You Are"). In Memphis this past July, my husband and I drank a toast to her on her her 50th birthday.

She has tried to reach me, also, but it was after we had left Florida, and we left no forwarding number. Glenda was never an Internet person, but has recently become one, rather belatedly in life. It was looking me up on the Internet that led her to calling our home last night.

I am just delighted to have her back in my life. Elated.

There's nothing like a good friend.

If you and your old friends don't talk as much anymore . . . different cities/states, busy with children and families vs. being single, having young children vs. being an empty nester, etc., give them a call and let them know you've been thinking about them. They'll be delighted to hear from you and have probably thought of you often as well.

Now, if I can only find Maureen . . . .


Donna said...

I had a dear friend for eight years growing up together. Her family abruptly moved when I was 12 and I haven't heard from her since. I had no forwarding address and my internet searches are hampered by the fact that I have no idea how she spelled her name. (I wrote a scene in my manuscript where this takes place with my main character.)

I keep hoping to have one of those Oprah reunion-type moments. But until I find my old friend, I'll keep checking on the ones that have remained in my lfie so far.

Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

Mel said...

I always figured you should take better care to your friendships than your family, because those bonds are bound by blood, and are much more precious. You chose them to be apart of your life and they living so much better.

bettye griffin said...

I hope that eventually you and your friend are reunited. Have you tried

Well said. Our relatives are chosen for us. Our friends we have chosen.

Thanks for posting!

Donna D said...

Only one problem - I have no idea what school she went to. Though we lived on the same block, we went to very different schools (she was white).

Patricia W. said...

I've lost touch with too many people over the years but the Internet is a great way to "find" old friends.

Happy for you Bettye. Wishing the same for you, Donna.

bettye griffin said...

Thanks, Patricia!

The nice thing about Classmates is the search function. If you put in a name, it will show you every person with that name all over the country. If you're unsure of the spelling, try the first few letters of last name, comma, first name.

Good luck!