Friendships are not always permanent.  That is a sad fact of life, particularly in this mobile society we are part of.  The friends from our youth are seldom the friends of our early adult life, and the friends made as we are settling into being adults are not always the friends we will have 20 years later.

I have thought a lot about this over the years and lamented the fact that we lost touch with some people we thought would be “forever” friends.  I am in the middle of a huge project, going through literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of slides that we took when we were first married.  It is such a fun project, and when I finish our slides, I have thousands of my Dad’s slides to pick through.  I am converting all these slides to digital format so that some day, it will be easy to look at old pictures.

Some of the slides are of people we expected to know forever–our clique, if you will, from various bases where we were stationed.  Alas, we now only keep up with two of those couples and one priest from the past.  The interesting thing to me is that they were friends from our very first assignment, so our friendship goes back 40 years.

So as I go through the pictures, I linger awhile with these people from the past and offer a quick prayer that all is well with them, wherever they are.

We recently took a trip to Europe, the primary purpose of which was to visit some dear friends.  Even though they are now living permanently so far away, I pray that we will always be friends and hold each other close in our hearts.  We saw lots of beautiful churches, medieval cities, countryside, etc., but the highlight of the trip was our time spent over coffee and food, or hiking in the countryside together, just catching up and enjoying the shared company.  It was also an opportunity to experience life in Austria from the inside, so to speak.  Andy and Susi, you are superb hosts and we are grateful for the time we had together.

Enjoying Schnaps and a day hike.

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