I’m sitting in the back yard where I was married for the first time thirty years ago this July. The home belongs to my first husband, the father of my two daughters although he doesn’t live here, our girls and their own children do. I’ve been coming to stay with them for a few years now and since both of them have infant children, I’ve been here more these past months than ever. Sitting here reminiscing I find the circle of one’s life to be a fascinating study. Who knows what encounters, events and incidences that one experiences in life will be the ones that stick? Who would have thought that when I signed divorce papers just six years after that first marriage that I would still be in close contact with the father of my children when most divorces end in a huge rift that divides, or that the friends and family connections that I expected to last a lifetime have since drifted away over the years and all contact has been severed? Life is sure an interesting and mysterious thing, don’t you think?
There are so many people that I thought I would know forever but have no idea where they are or what their life has been like. The girls I grew up with for nearly a decade when I lived in Clarence and with whom I played probably every single day of those childhood years are all middle-age now. I have no idea if they realized all or any of the dreams they shared with me, their neighborhood friend. Where is “Bucky” Buchanan, the boy who gave me my first kiss back in the sixth grade? Or David Deloy, the scrawny twelve-year-old boy I believed was my “first love” who gave me a chain bracelet that is still in my keepsake book? Where is my college roommate, Holly, who was witness to so many of my life choices that brought to the place where I am today? The last time I saw or spoke to Holly she was at my wedding (to my second husband) with her baby boy, who I know is all grown up now as are my own children. Did she and Matt stay married? Are they happy? I am just as curious to know how the cousins I was so close to in childhood, who know just what went on in our crazy, dysfunction-filled extended family, have fared in life. I wonder if I am on their minds as they are on mine.
There are a good number of those early friends and family members that I still am in touch with, but just as many I have no idea where they are or how to reach out to them. That saddens me but it is the nature of a life lived, I guess. There are now social networks online that allow for greater opportunity to seek and find lost friends and family. Searching for them is not always successful, however, so there are some that I believe might be lost for good. I may never see or hear from them again. Why are they lost to me when others who logic would predict would fall away, are still in my life? I believe it comes down to mutual desire to stay connected; I nurture relationships with those that put the effort forth to maintain contact with me. I must provide something that initiates willingness or need to keep me in their life and vice versa.
Whatever it is, it remains a touching mystery for me. Although there are those that have come and then gone from my life, their presence always remains in my heart and in my memories. Vaya con Dios, my friends, Go with God.