As I sit across from my college buddy, who I hadn’t seen in 27 years on a beautiful patio at a Snowbird resort, I think about how important personal history is. How important deep friendship and connection and quality relationships that truly bring happiness to our lives.
I had followed “Jane” for years on Facebook and could see that she had survived her mission, had lived in Utah and Idaho, her partner and she appeared to have kids. I saw she liked birds and was working in our field of Social Work, as we had both decided at Utah State, that is was our course of action to be “fixers”.
As I walk through the doors of the hotel, we see each other, instantly take a breath and embraced as if we had been hanging in suspense until that moment in time. Waiting, holding and smiling. I laughed and said, “The last time I saw you was when I was trying to break you out of the MTC (Missionary Training Center} with a ’65 Mustang fastback running in the parking lot.” She laughed and said I know, and tell that story all the time. “One of my best memories.”
Our breakfast/lunch lasted four hours! She went first: Mission, Jobs, girlfriends, kids, grad school, death of parents, break ups, teenage kids, moves,
hobbies, heartbreaks, lessons, joys, it all rolled out like a yarn ball being thrown across the room. Her life, complicated, Just like mine, everyone who lives and takes risks. But the one question that was pushing against my teeth, as she sat there in her cargo shorts, t-shirt and and dutch boy haircut.
“When did you know you were gay?” I asked. “I didn’t want you to go on your mission, because I wanted to keep you safe.””That’s why I tried to stop you from going.” Jane said, ” You knew before me, and it wasn’t until I came home from the Philippines, did I come to learn and love myself.” She was the Jane who was the voice of reason, the one you would choose to stand on your “Braveheart” line because it only took a stare and a nod to know she had your back. To me, she was that person!
She is that person! She’s a fixer. She’s the ear, the shoulder, the voice for a whole population of youth in Utah that need her. That “Fixer” for the underdog. So glad she’s my friend.
It was her 50th birthday and we were celebrating by storytelling, laughing,, crying and realizing that our friendship had not missed a beat. That even though the miles, minutes and years had passed by, the connection was still strong. We had history!
So, call that friend, family member or sibling. Catch up! Tell stories that make you gut laugh and realize that rekindling life’s moments make the ride real.