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April 7, 2015

Friends for a Lifetime

We lost my mother-in-law going on three years ago. Yes, we still miss her and probably always will. She was a sweet woman with a sharp tongue and a great sense of humor. And I always told her I married the best one of her kids. Not that the others are shabby, but I got the best.
Last year, I was contacted by a friend of Mom’s, Anita(in the middle). The woman told me that she had been a friend of Ruth (Mom on left) and Mya (Mom’s twin sister on right) since they were three years old. Since that time we’ve been corresponding back and forth and she’s been telling me stories of the three of them. At this time she’s 94 years old.
Reading her stories has made me wonder how many of us can actually say we have friends from our childhood that we’re still connected with? I have friends from high school that I still talk to. I know where a friend from my childhood resides, but we haven’t spoken to each other in twenty years.

Friends come and go out of our lives at different periods for different reasons. Life interferes and we aren’t able to stay connected. There were four of us in high school that ran around together, dreamed of our future lives and growing into young women. Today I had lunch with Janine. I receive a Christmas card every year from Terre-who lives in the same area I do, and see Suzanne-who lives in New York on Facebook. They’re my oldest friends.
But a friend from the time you’re three? No, I don’t have any of those. Poor Anita is trying to reach Mya to talk to her one more time. Mya has dementia and recently her cell phone was turned off because she kept losing it. Anita lives in Detroit and Mya in Albuquerque, yet Anita keeps reaching out to Mya. I’m the go between.
As women we bond with friends and hang onto them until we take our last dying breath. I’m hoping that when we go visit Mya this summer, we can call Anita and put the two women on the phone together. More than anything, I hope that Mya will remember Anita. A friendship that has lasted a lifetime.
Do you stay in contact with friends from your childhood?

My next historical out in May!

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Cathy McElhaney said...

That is awesome Sylvia (my mother in law is a twin, too!)! Well, 6 years ago I found my best friend from when I was a child on Facebook.We met when we were 5 and I moved away when we were 12. We had kept in touch for a few years after, but drifted apart. It turns out that she lived about an hour from my mom in Arizona. We met face to face when I went to visit my mom when she was first placed in Hospice. It was awesome to see her and she told me she doubts she would have survived her childhood without my family! Our move over 500 miles away was very hard on her. We had lived in a small town south of Chicago and moved to Pittsburgh PA. My best friend, through middle and high school and I kept in touch for many years, well into adulthood. Then one day, she stopped answering my calls and a Christmas card I sent came back with "moved no forwarding address" stamped on it. I searched and found her and sent her a letter asking her what happened. She never responded. Just recently, I found her sister on Facebook and she lives about an hour from me! We both have moved to Texas! She said her sister is mean and hateful and has pushed everyone away. She told her that we had just drifted apart and are no longer necessary in each others lives (Really??). So,'s her loss!
Lastly, I found another high school friend/old neighbor back in the MySpace days that lives just 2 hours away in Louisiana! We have visited her and I have even taken my dad to see her parents! It's wild to move so far from 'home' and find friends that are not too far away!

Kathy Ivan said...

What a great post, Sylvia. It got me to thinking about my list of friends who I'm still in contact with after all these years. Probably none from when I was that young, but some from high school age, and though we live hundreds of miles apart, we talk and text and are still close. Thanks for such a moving post.

Sylvia said...

Cathy that's so sad that your friend from high school pushed everyone away. It makes me wonder what happened in her life that she wanted nothing to do with anyone. But it seems you have found several people from your past and reconnected. Good for you.

Sylvia said...

Kathy, thank you. Anita had contacted me the day I wrote this and it was just so heart wrenching that I put it on paper. For one thing having dementia is terrible, but losing touch with a dear friend after so many years just broke my heart.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Great post Sylvia! I have a "twin" cousin and a friend and we were all born within 11 days of each other and still keep in touch. We met another friend in preschool and all 4 of us are still friends. Since we all live in different cities we don't see each other as often as we'd like but we do keep up on FB and try to call occasionally. I still keep in touch with some of my HS friends but again, we're all in different towns (by keeping up I mean seeing on FB!). It's sad b/c I felt the closest to those friends I had in my youth.

Thank you for such a great post!

Sylvia said...

Karilyn, but it so sweet that you have friends that you were all born so close together. Wow! Very impressive. That's wonderful.

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Lovely post Sylvia!
I'm so sorry about your mother-in-law's passing.
But this was a lovely and interesting tribute