Friends are Friends Forever

People move in and our of our lives.  Some people are in your life for the long haul, some just to teach you something and then you move on.

Most of the time, people have to earn my trust.  Things can be awkward at first and after periods of separation, yet others are like siblings.  When you meet them, it’s like you’ve known them forever and if you haven’t seen or talked to them in years it’s feels like it was just yesterday.  I’ve had very few people that fit into this last category – Paul is one of those people.

Fifteenish years ago a family moved into the house across the street.  They were a military family and were moving all the way from Germany.  Susie and I were hoping for some boys our age.   We were 14ish, of course we wanted boys!   I was a spy…always watching the going-ons of the neighbors, so naturally it just intensified when this family moved in.

Sure enough, we got our boys.  One my age, two a few years older.  They also had a younger son in elementary school and an older daughter graduating high school and a son that didn’t live with them anymore, and I think there were some kids from another marriage that lived with there mom, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that.

We spent a lot of time outside.  We had neighborhood games of kick the can and played basketball almost every afternoon.  I even remember being taught how to play baseball and kickball.   Those were some good times.

Susie, Paul and Me

Jeff was closest to my age and Mark and Paul were older.  Although we all got along, Paul and I had a weird kinda relationship, I think Susie used to say we were engaged.  We just hit it off.  He was easy to talk to and fun to be around.  Four or five years later, when he got married, Susie and I went on our first road trip across Kansas to Missouri to attend his wedding, the only wedding of the brothers we went to.

We lost touch for years, in fact I haven’t seen Paul since his wedding in 2000.  For a while, we’d call each other, but we both got busy with our lives.  Thanks to Facebook, we (Susie and I) were able to reconnect with all three – Jeff’s wife was pregnant at the same time as me and had a little girl just weeks before Isaac, Mark married his high school sweetheart and has two kids and then there was Paul.  I knew he was around and had seen pictures, as his wife was on Facebook.

Paul had joined the Air Force and with joining the military he gets to move around.  His wife was so happy when he was coming home.  It was quite a surprise to me that a few days after he got home, I got a call on my cell phone with a message from Paul, telling me Happy Mother’s Day.  I had meant to call him back, but his number got wiped from my phone, and we all know how I feel about talking on the phone anyway.

A few days ago Paul, IMed me on Facebook.  I am normally hidden on Facebook, but had decided to show up for a while and I’m glad I did.  We chatted for a while about games on Facebook and life over the last 10 years.  Nothing too fancy, but it was like being reunited with a long, lost brother.  I miss Paul…hope he makes it back out here soon so our families can meet.


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