Friends I had of old

We are in the process of cleaning out the Homestead at the moment prior to downsizing to a house/bungalow that Curly Durly will find more manageable than a large four bedroom family house, and it is a harrowing experience I can tell you.

The house has been the family home since before my brother was born, so we’re talking nearly three decades here and, whilst I have lived elsewhere for the past five or so years, all those domiciles have been rented accommodation. Consequently, there’s a lot of my accumulated stuff back at the Homestead, all of which needs to be sorted through so we know what to chuck and what to put into storage.

What really brought tears to my eyes this weekend though was going through all the old photo albums and shoeboxes filled to over flowing with pictures of people, many of whom I’ve lost contact with over the years. We’ ve never been a family to take pictures of each other, or to document each and every occasion on film, but over the years we’ve still accumulated a fair number of pictures. Even today, when I’m on holiday, I prefer to look at things rather than constantly peer through the blinkers of the viewfinder, but I will not deny the power of even an out-of-focus shot to bring back a whole host of half-forgotten memories.

As I was going through the pictures I realised how many people had fallen by the wayside – people I loved dearly, still love, but who I no longer talk to for whatever reason. I came across person after person who I missed so much, and started to think on all the happy times we had shared, and the sad times, and found myself wondering how I could get in touch with these people again. Indeed, what I would say to them if I did meet them again? Half of them wouldn’t even recognize me. Would they want to see me again? Do they sometimes think of me with a regretful happiness?

I found myself thinking of a poem I once read, which ended thus:

Some people make our souls to dance.

They stay in our lives for awhile,
Leave footprints on our hearts,
And we are never, ever the same.

This is a small selection of the people who made my soul dance and not a week goes by that I don’t miss each and every one of them.

With a tear in my eye and a smile on my face, I just want to say a huge “thank you” to all these wonderful people for letting me share their life for a time. I quite simply would not be here today without you, and I just wish you were all still around to share in the laughter once more.

9 thoughts on “Friends I had of old

  1. Cas, a friend is not someone you need to keep in touch with always. A friend is someone with whom you can pick up that friendship at the same level after years apart. I think getting in touch would not be a bad thing—not just to reminisce, but to confirm to one another that the other made an impact on one’s life.

  2. I would love to get in touch with these, and many other, people, but for most of them I just don’t have the means to. I occasionally get in touch with Kat, and when I do we really can just pick things up. It’s great, but happens too rarely. Mainly my fault because I am shocking at keeping up with people.

    I got thinking about the whole “getting in touch” thing the other week, as there are two school reunions coming up this summer (one for prep-school, one for secondary school) and I have to decide if I’m going to either of them. Now, I loved my prep-school and had a blast with the people there, but for assorted reasons secondary school sucked. And for the most part it was the same people who made it suck. If I go, are the people going to be the ones who made my life hell, or the ones I had fun with?

    Add to that, I don’t think I’m feeling thin enough, or successful enough, to deal with a reunion right now:
    “So, what are you doing right now Cas?” (asks the tall, gorgeous blonde who works in the City, and does modelling in her spare time)
    “Well, I finished my MSc and am bumming around on the south coast doing temp work for the local council because I can’t think of anything better to do. Oh, and no I’m not a dateless wonder, just the other half lives in another country right now…” (replies Cas who is still short, several pounds heavier than she’d like to be, and who blogs and does geeky things in her spare time).

    So I’m imagining that conversation, but that’s how it’s going in my brain right now.

    I think I like the idea of hooking up with everyone again, but am scared witless by the thought of actually doing it. Yes, I am a chicken. A chicken with low self esteem. But I’ve decided that’s one of my charms 😀

  3. This entry has interesting timing. Guess who called me at work, completely out of the blue today?

    Yeeeah.

  4. Wow. It’s odd how people just crawl out of the woodwork like that.

    I was kinda hoping that I had some lurkers on the blog who would be tempted to reveal themselves by this post.
    Clearly not.

    Time to get off my lazy be-hind and leverage the ‘friend-of-a-friend’ network. It can’t be that hard to trace people, can it?

  5. That’s what I want to hear: happiness in how you are, even if low self-esteem is one of those qualities! But I like the idea of being content with yourself for no reason—that’s me!
       Someone from my primary school emailed me recently and I got Googling some other names—amazing who you can find. Some of the ladies have changed surnames, making them impossible to trace after 21 years, but I would not mind seeing these folks again.
       However, I will say reunions are another matter. You’d be meeting up with folks who are not your friends as well, and I think that’s where things like career and weight come into play. But your real friends only care about you. Do your prep school one, I say: no one there would have any thoughts about how every one else turned out, and, therefore, no judgement about anything other than the surprise of seeing you again.

  6. The thing with the prep school one – the people are basically the same people who made my life hell at secondary school (with a few notable exceptions). It really is odd how kids change so drastically from the age of 12 to 13. One minute bestest friends for-eva! Next minute, bullying little psychopaths who would, quite simply, make the spawn of Satan look nice.

    To be brutally truthful, I think I am just a little odd for my old friends from school. I was just so normal then it was painful. The friends I’ve made in the last couple of years definitely know the real/proper me more than those I was at school with – I did meet one of the secondary school ones last year. He came into the shop where I was working at the time and he did the classic double take. It was (once I’d stopped shaking) priceless! I did have short purple and blonde hair at the time, so it’s hardly surprising he didn’t recognise me at first, but I had a happy grin on my face for weeks after that encounter 😀

    Great, now I’m talking myself into going to the reunion!

    (And I am also rambling, so I will stop. Blame illyna. She was plying me with Little Penguin wine and lasagne.)

  7. Ah, now I understand! Those cretins. So, this chap who came in to the shop … possibilities? I think you are talking yourself into it, and as for those bullying idiots, ten to one they regret their actions. Stay aloof and above them.
       Bless those Australians and their Little Penguin wine.

  8. I can recommend the Little Penguin Rose. Not bad, not bad at all.
    The Little Penguin Cabernet on the other hand… Not good. I seem to remember we didn’t even use it up in the cooking 😕

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