The Joy of Reconnecting
My footsteps were a complex mix of bouncy and hesitant as I entered the room. I was about to see my early childhood bestie for the first time in 40+ years. Part of me was feeling almost giddy with excitement, and part of me was a little bit nervous. Once our eyes met, all of the anxiousness dissolved and only the happiness remained. I was hugging the wonderful lady who had been “my person” throughout much of my childhood.
For two splendid hours, we reminisced about our small-town upbringing, recalling so many fond memories. Jennie remembered that I had helped her tie her winter hat under her chin in kindergarten and fought off any kids who attempted to make fun of her for that. I remembered that she had helped me remove a “nasty note” that the kindergarten teacher had pinned to my back, warning my parents of a behavior infraction that I had committed that day.
Growing up just one city block apart, many of our experiences throughout childhood were shared ones. We were nostalgic about sliding Valentine’s cards under our neighbor’s doors and waiting in the bushes to watch when they discovered them. We talked about hours spent at the public library and long walks along the railroad tracks. We caught up on mutual acquaintances.
In the small town that we grew up in, our houses had narrow alleys behind them that few cars attempted to drive through. Those alleyways became our childhood refuges; the places where many group activities took place. We played pick-up games of kickball, softball, and pickle. We played hand-clapping games and lots of jump rope. We ran, rode bikes, and roller-skated up and down those passageways daily.
The more we reminisced, Jennie and I quickly realized that although both of us grew up in homes with minimal worldly wealth, we were incredibly rich in the things that really mattered. Loving families, treasured friendships, a foundation for faith, and small-town bonds, all contributed to the people that we would eventually become. Both of us have cultivated hearts that have a passion for serving others and finding ways to share the lessons that we have learned in life.
My heart was soaring as I drove home from spending time with my childhood buddy. It was as if forty years had never passed, and we were able to capture the warmth of a lifelong bond that will never break. We have made plans to “make a difference together” in the area that we grew up in. We will stay in contact for the remainder of our lives.
All of us have people who have made an impact on our lives, but whom we have lost contact with. Today I would like to encourage you to reach out to them. Find them on social media. Send them a card. Make that phone call. Take that first step. Let them know that they are important to you. You will not regret it.