Sunday, June 3, 2012

You Had To Be There

Together again.

Last evening we helped a long time friend celebrate his 65th birthday. Invited for “burgers and beer”, about 120 of us gathered together in the backyard of the lovely home of he and his wife, to enjoy the sunshine, garden, and each other. 

Such happiness to be surrounded by family and friends from throughout your life.  A life that has so many facets.  A life that has always reached out and extended itself to make communities better for all.  That was how we had met, when he became a cherished volunteer of my own organization.

I too found myself with some dear friends and, as often happens, taking a trip down memory lane.  As past-colleagues we started reminiscing about our years together.  Formative years for me.  Creative and exciting, we worked hard, learned a lot, provided encouragement, supported each other, and enjoyed the feeling that comes from knowing we were making a difference.  I wouldn’t trade those experiences or the lasting friendships created from it for anything.
With the passage of time and the more distant view, these occasions don’t present themselves very often. 

We had a toast to being together again and brought out all the old memories.  The ones that make us laugh.  The ones that cause us to pause and reflect.  The “you had to be there” stories that only we could understand.  The ones that brought forward thoughts of those we’ve lost, but will never forget.. 

There is a distinct feeling of comfort and happiness in being with those with which you have shared special experiences. 

You had to be there. 

"It takes a long time to grow an old friend." John Leonard

All good things, k