Tonight I had dinner with a friend I have known for more than 30 years. I met Anna at Olan Mills when we both worked there as telephone solicitors. I will have to share our experiences there another time.
Anna and I worked together for less than a year, I think, but we connected. I remember going to her home in Saugerties and meeting her extended Italian family. As the years went by, we both married and had kids. Some time later when our kids were little, we ran into each other and she came over for a visit. It was like the years just melted as we brought each other up to date on our lives.
We were supposed to get together again a couple weeks later, but Anna had to cancel due to hurting her back. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was anything more than a pulled muscle and I didn't follow up with her. A few weeks went by and I called her to see about getting together and she shared very openly how hurt she was that I had never called to see how she was doing. She had really done a number on her back and was laid up for quite awhile. I was embarrassed and felt really bad. Unfortunately, that incident caused another lag in our friendship.
Then years later, I was working for the American Cancer Society and our paths crossed once again. This time we met often due to our work. She worked as a bookkeeper in a surgeon's office. I came to know her coworkers and we would chat during our times in their office. Then Anna's husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and we encouraged and nurtured Anna through that trial. Soon I left ACS and Anna and I tried to stay connected by phone. We got together occasionally for breakfast or lunch as we both live in Saugerties, but the business of our lives drew us apart once again.
Then a friend who was still working for ACS, saw Anna and said I should call her and once again we met up.
Now our children are grown. We are both empty nesters and are sharing our lives. We have made it a point to put a dinner date on our calendars every month, so we won't lose touch again.
It is amazing to me how some people keep coming back into our lives over and over and others don't. There have been people I really would like to run into again, and they live nearby, but our paths never seem to cross. I wonder why that is.
Through the technology of FaceBook, I have been able to connect with former classmates, coworkers, family and friends that I haven't seen in years! It has been wonderful to catch up with these folks and learn where their lives have taken them. Many of us were not close friends in school, but we make the connection and suddenly we are sharing photos and stories together.
Next week I hope to have lunch with one such friend. I knew her in high school, but confess, not that well. She has faithfully posted a blog for four years! I have been reading through these blogs for the past few weeks and getting to really know her. I can't wait to talk to her face-to-face. Her life has been a lot tougher than mine. We both have raised children and had some struggles. I cannot even begin to compare my life with hers as she has done most of hers as a single mom.
As I read her blogs, I appreciate my husband of 34 years, my children, my brothers and sisters, and my friends a whole lot more. I am ever so grateful for the foundation my life was built on with lots of love. I didn't come from a perfect family, but who does? I haven't raised perfect children, but they are happy and successful in their lives. I haven't had a perfect marriage, again who does? But if I left this world today, I would know that I have achieved my purpose in life and if I get to go on another 20 years or more, I want to continue in applying what I have learned to help others.
Thank you Anna and Patti, you along with so many others, have made an impact in my life and I am glad you are a part of my life today.