The first friend was a girl I met in grade five and kept in touch with through university, but hadn't seen in at least 15 years. Having reconnected on Facebook a couple of years ago, we made plans to meet at an art gallery in PEI where she displays the gorgeous hooked rugs she makes. It was so enjoyable to see her (and her daughter and grandson who'd stopped by as well), to look at her work, and to catch up briefly about mutual friends and our own families.
The second was someone I met at church when we were in our twenties. The very first conversation we had revealed that we both worked at the university; that led to a lunch date and to a long-standing friendship. Richard and I hung out with her and her husband for years and enjoyed many post-workout pizza dates and lots of laughter (we just have to mention the Uranus Computer company to start ourselves laughing). They moved to another city 17 years ago and we don't see them often; it had been at least three or four years. Richard and I once read in a book about people you have "refrigerator rights" with: if you were in their house you'd feel comfortable opening the fridge to get something you needed. (Within reason, of course!) We feel that way about this couple. It was great to see my friend again and catch up on family, work, church, and book clubs.
The third was Jonathan's first-ever E.A. at school about six years ago; she now works elsewhere but we still keep in touch. She was even in my writers' group for a couple of years so we used to meet quite regularly. After over a year of not seeing one another, we got together for a visit at the end of the summer and spent a couple of hours catching up with her about work and parenting. It was also a delight for her and Jonathan to see each other after so long.
I treasure my friendships with all three of these women, yet I note the differences in our relationships, too. Friend #1 and I have few mutual friends and interests now (although in our school days we had many of both): she has different creative pursuits, and she's at a different stage of life with grown kids and grandchildren. But we're both Christians and we can give each other encouragement via brief Facebook contact, which I really appreciate. Friend #2 and I have many mutual friends and could spend hours catching up with "How's so and so doing?" We also have plenty of memories -- good times and in-jokes as well as some shared struggles -- and we seem able to just pick up where we've left off even after several years. Friend #3 and I don't have a long history together, but we've had the enjoyment of watching what started as a professional connection turn into a friendship; that's a special thing. Friendships are truly as unique as the people in them.
After this summer of re-connecting with friends, I feel grateful.
"Depth of friendship does not depend
on length of acquaintance."
- Rabindranath Tagore