Conscious Aging: Old Friends

Connie and I were high school friends — so close that our homeroom teacher called us “Jonathan and David”. We took different paths after high school, but Connie was living here in Seattle when I moved in 2010 — less than 2 blocks away from where I wound up renting. We connected via the classmate who was planning our 50th reunion. Jill sent us both an email saying, “hey, do you realize…”. Connie and I set up a time for coffee immediately, and enjoyed resuming our friendship.

Connie’s husband had died, and at the reunion she renewed a friendship with Ed, another classmate who was also on his own. They married, and Connie moved to Florida. But one of her daughters is here, and she returns regularly to see that family — which makes a continuation of our coffee dates possible.

At this age, and with friends spread out all over, we do friendship in any way that we can. Another high school friend of both Connie’s and mine will be here for 4-5 weeks in early spring; Laurie’s son and daughter-in-law moved here from New York to work for Amazon, and they are now expecting Laurie and Max’s first grandchild. I look forward to walking the baby with her around Green Lake.

Not all the friendships I once had remain interesting to me — on rare occasions people change in ways that I don’t especially like. But most friendships remain precious, and that creates a rich tapestry that deepens my life. I especially like having really old friends, the people who knew my parents, my sisters, my home town of Kearny, our trips to the Jersey shore. There’s something about still being friends with the people with whom you shared the trials of adolescence, a particularly vulnerable time. I find that with these old friends, there is almost no “working back in”, even when we haven’t seen each other for a long time. The bond is simply there, waiting to be refreshed.

A coffee date is very Seattle, and the perfect setting.

2 thoughts on “Conscious Aging: Old Friends

  1. for Phyllis: Will tell her, and still grateful for the hospitality you and Art extended on her trip to meet up with us for the book event.

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