The shirt I have on is just a few months shy of 30 years old. It is a long sleeve t-shirt from the first spring formal I went to with Todd. (You know, in college, you have to have a t-shirt for everything.) My college roommate was visiting this weekend, and I put it on without thinking. She burst out laughing when she saw it, saying "You still have that!?" She is a friend of 30+ years...so she remembers these things. Can you believe I still have (and wear--around the house, of course) a 30 year-old shirt? It just plain shocked me when she said that number. 30 years. Wow. 30 years sounds so long, but to have lived it seems like almost a blink.
30 years ago, Todd and I began dating on February 23. Wow. It has been 3 1/2 years since his death. Those years seem long. How can 30 have gone by so fast?
I met a new friend for coffee the other day. Our friendship really only spans about 1 1/2 years, so I call that pretty new. She seems like an old friend though. Anyway...we were talking about friendships we have with people we rarely see. Friendships where the connection is so deep that it stands separate from time. You plop right down into them and they nourish you no matter how long it has been since you've seen them--no matter what life events have happened during the season of geographical and verbal separation...no awkwardness, just encouragement and nurturing.
I was getting ready to end this post with some smarmy line about hoping your life was scandalously full of these kind of friendships, when I realized that these relationships always have a cost. I know some who choose not to reach out and form new friendships because, to them, the cost is just not worth it. You don't get to the "deep connections separate from time" without experiencing life together. Every life-long friend I have has seen me through bad times as well as good. Honestly, I am kind of amazed I have any left after they had to walk with me after Todd's death. But they stuck around, and I am very thankful. Currently there is pain and grief in large doses for many of these dear friends. I am praying they know God holds them close (and will continue to hold them until it is light), and I am praying He will use me in their lives the same way He has used them in mine.