Life Travel – “And They’re Back!”

Lone Tree, Colorado

Oh, the joy of reconnecting with people we thought we lost!  It seems I am in a time-warp  – I am happily welcoming back old friends….

Thanks to Facebook I am once again in touch with both Terri and Paula, friends and fellow cheerleaders from high school

One of the joys of getting older is that you have a real history.  I am 47, which frightens the hell out of me, but I can now say I have traveled through a few stages of life.  I can look back at my youth, my college life, my bachelorette phase, my married life, my life as a parent and now the new life that I am creating and see with clarity what each phase brought to me, where it took me and what I learned from it.  I look at my careers and the lives I have lived professionally – I have worked in corporate America, for non-profits, for our own family business and under my own shingle.  Personally, I have had such a wonderful variety of friends over the years I can’t even begin to name them all.  Through all these lives I have met some truly amazing and wonderful people. Some remain in my life still, some drifted away like many relationships do, some relationships were intentionally severed.  But one of the joys I am finding in this new life of mine is that some of those amazing people I loved along the way, who disappeared, have now returned.  Someone said “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”  I think this is true, but we need to add a tag line that says – “and sometimes they even come back!”

"Larry" and me, circa 1980's (as if you couldn't tell by my hair!)

In a recent post from my California trip this past summer I shared the story of my friend, who is the only person I will ever give an alias to—”"Larry.”  One day maybe this private man will give me the thumbs up to use his real name!  But he was my first childhood crush in my home town of Fresno, CA.  We eventually dated after I graduated from college, and despite how crazy I was about him, our timing was just off.  I moved away to San Francisco, then got married and moved three states away and grew a family and a life.  22 years later, we reconnected thanks to an old photograph I found in a scrapbook and the wonders of the Internet.  We have since seen each other, shared dinner and drinks and lots of hours catching up.  ”Larry” is once again back in my life, a welcome friend and a reminder of a great time in my life when things were simpler and less complicated.  Just having “Larry” back in my life makes me feel like a kid again.  It brings back memories that make me laugh and smile.  I never thought I would ever see him again when I left California 21 years ago.  I love when Life proves me wrong.

When I moved to Colorado my new husband then owned a beautiful home.  Not long after our marriage, he started our family business.  It had been a dream of his long before we even met.  We had also started a family, with the birth of our son Stephen.  Jessica became a reality a mere 19 months later.  Well, with all this birthing and growth we needed capital so we sold that beautiful home.  We sold it to another young couple. At the time, I was eight months pregnant with Jessica and running around after a testosterone-driven toddler.  Needless to say, it was one of those times in life that you just never look your best.  The couple who bought our house were two of the most physically beautiful, well-put-together people I had ever seen.  Tami was all class, pure and simple.  I was in awe of her, for she was always gorgeous and stylish.  I was just fat and pregnant and tired.  Make up and a hairstyle in those days were luxuries I had given up on!  After the sale of the house, this amazing woman – who is even more beautiful inside than on the outside – and I became friends.  I met her family, we would get together when we could, but eventually life just took over.  We kept moving (we lived in seven homes in our 20 years of marriage…crazy, yes) and they began their family and moved too.  We lost touch, not because we wanted to, just because that’s the way life works sometimes.  I often wondered about her – she was always one of those people who was upbeat, happy, funny, caring.  Her demeanor never changed – being around her was a joy.

Tami - a pillar of strength & friendship

Then in the fall of 2009, in a fluke thing we reconnected.  Tami was out with a group of girls, I was out with my other Tammy friend – dear miss Tammy Reed.  We ran into a mutual friend, who friended me the next day on Facebook.  For fun, I clicked on the picture of the women from the night before, and there she was!  My old friend Tami Michels!  We immediately got in touch that day.  Turns out she too was going through a divorce.  Our connection was instant and she now, ironically, lives only two short blocks away from my house.  We have become thick as thieves – I see her nearly every day.  I have become “Auntie” to her kids who visit often.  And I can honestly say I don’t know what I would do without her friendship at this juncture in my life.  We can speak openly about everything, and we do.  We have shared experiences and understandings.  When she says “I know how you feel” I know she really does.  We cry, we laugh, we party, we go out to dinner, we commiserate, we tell each other our secrets, usually over really good bottles of wine.  Despite the hell she is going through, she is upbeat even when she feels beaten down.  She is a great listener, she makes me laugh – I cherish this easy, open and genuine friendship that started nearly 19 years ago.  Who would have known then, when we sold that house, that this would become a friendship for the ages….

Tom and me, 9th grade!

Last December, thanks once again to the marvel of Facebook, I spent a delightful evening with an old high school buddy, Tom Alfaro.  I hadn’t seen Tom but once since graduation and that was at our 10-year reunion (a long damn time ago!)  He contacted me that he would be in Denver and I got to spend a fun night with him and a group of his friends.  Tom lived here for a few years when I was here too, but we didn’t know it.  He now lives in Kansas City.  In a couple of weeks he will be back in Denver and will stay with me – my old friend is nursing a bit of a broken heart.  Tom and I went to school together from seventh grade through high school.  He was the star basketball player, I one of the cheerleaders.  We were always friends, but now 30 years later I am so pleasantly surprised that our friendship has once again found wings, despite both time and distance.  Tom, one of the happiest people I have ever met, has not changed a bit!  OK, he no longer has all that afro hair!  He calls everyone “brother” or “sister” or “little lady” and I have yet to see him with anything but a smile on his face.  He is part of my youth, my history, my past life and I welcome his return.

I hope this is all a sign of things to come…that more old friends will be showing up on my doorstep and relationships can begin anew.  I like where Life is taking me, I like what She is bringing back to me.  People I thought were lost, are now found again.

Man, I like these kinds of surprises!

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