Herald Journal Columns
March 25, 2002

Some come, some go; others stay forever


I have been in touch lately with some of my girlfriends from high school via e-mail. I am so happy that everyone is now becoming part of the electronic age.

I've never been good with keeping in touch. It isn't that I don't feel that my old friends (and by that I mean "old" as in known a long time, not old as in age) aren't important. Life just has a way of taking over and handing me high priorities that need to be taken care of immediately.

This is no excuse, because as my girlfriend Ellen pointed out, most of us are within 30-miles or so of each other. It's disgusting that we don't get together more often.

My girlfriends and I are planning on getting together in the near future and I am very excited about it. After all, we haven't all been together for years. Literally. The last time I saw some of them was at my wedding reception.

I know it will be a good time, and the conversation will be non-stop. I find it funny that even though we are all in our 30s now, we still get together and giggle like junior high girls. Some things never change.

We have all gone through many changes over the years. We've added a few kids, a few husbands/ boyfriends were added and deleted, houses were built, cancer was beat, and the cities that we reside in have changed several times.

Then there's the physical differences - the gray hairs, the weight gains and weight losses (I'm happy to report more of the latter for us), the little crows feet, and the fact that there are permanently-attached children to our legs.

Career-wise, everyone is doing pretty well, and we have an interesting mix of careers that we've chosen for ourselves. Of the seven of us from my little "clique" in high school, we have a social worker, two teachers, a poker dealer, a county agent, a nurse, and a graphic designer/column writing-wannabe for a local newspaper.

And most importantly, we have 12 children between all of us - 12 people that we have brought into the world and that depend upon us. I remember sitting around the lunch table at our school, talking about who was going to marry whom, and how many children we would have. The oldest child between all of us is now already 10 years old, and the youngest is just under 2.

After all of these years, if I was looking for someone to talk to who really knows me, I would turn to one of them. They've known me since I was young and naive, had braces, and pinned my Girbaud jeans in Dassel-Cokato's High School hallways.

We are all still alive and healthy.

My mom just recently lost a friend. It was her first friend in her group to pass away, and she was quite upset about it.

It got me to thinking, and I wonder who will be the first to go of my friends. Will it be me? I guess time will tell.

It gave me a new reason to try to keep up with friendships that were so important in determining who I am now. I have had friends that have come and gone - you know how it is - interests change, people move, etc. But the people that I grew up with have been there from the beginning. These are the same friends that, even to this day, would stop to say "hi" to my parents in the grocery store.

And I'm sure they also still remember some of my goofy kid-secrets, and fortunately, I also know theirs.

After all of these years, still no one is talking. Now that is real friendship.

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