Long Lost Friends Week

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There were two recurring themes this week, long-lost friends are seen in person and serendipity in everything we did (sometimes related to long-lost friends, sometimes not).

In this post, I mentioned our long-lost friends from our vacation in Vail in 1987! That kicked the week off, so officially, it began on Friday evening at dinner.

For many years, Lois and I lived on the upper east side. Lois lived in the building for many years before I moved in with her. She had a very good friend in the building there, that I too befriended, and we very much enjoyed her company.

When we bought the house, we lost touch with her. That was 18 years ago. Lois has felt badly about that for a very long time. A few months ago, she tracked her down. She’s still in our old building (we can’t blame her, she has one of the nicest apartments in Manhattan!). They had one aborted attempt to get together, but yesterday, the two of them got together for lunch (I had a board call, so I couldn’t join them), and they had a wonderful time catching up. Lois and I intend to go see her when we are back in the city in the future.

I have a friend who I met in first grade. For years, I insisted that we met in kindergarten, and he insisted that he didn’t come to my school until first grade. After 20 years of arguing with him, I now tell it as he insists, but obviously, I haven’t completely let go of my feeling that he is just wrong. 😉

While I’ve had many really good friends over the years, on any number of levels, he probably easily qualifies as my best friend. I have one friend from kindergarten who I likely know longer (assuming this friend is correct about when we met) 😉 but we’re not as close as I am with this one.

Ironically, the kindergarten friend is the only other person from high school (yes, we all went to school together for a very long time!) that I remain in touch with. I speak with him once or twice a year, and this week happened to be one of those times, when we ended up chatting for an hour. Of course, I didn’t see him in person this week, so it only qualifies partially for long-lost friends week.

Back to the first grade friend. He married someone roughly 25 years ago who is not easy to be around. After five years of trying, as much as both Lois and I liked my friend, we ended up forcefully separating from any contact with his wife, and unfortunately, him as well. We didn’t really interact with him for nearly 15 years!

I don’t even recall how, but somehow we agreed to have dinner with him six years ago, and lo and behold, he told us that he was separated, headed for divorce. Needless to say, we were ecstatic. He brought along his new girlfriend (now wife!), and instantly loved her. For the next two years, we spent a ton of time with them, and grew to love her as much as we love him.

Unfortunately, four years ago, they moved to Thailand! They keep beating us up to come for a long visit there, and we want to, badly, but with our crazy schedule, it isn’t going to happen any time soon. So, now we see them once or twice a year, when they visit NY. We were lucky enough that they were going to be in town only two nights on this trip, last night, and this coming Monday. We were free last night (serendipity), and we had a fabulous time catching up with them over a leisurely Mexican dinner with some margaritas greasing the wheels.

Finally, there is a couple that we became very friendly with in 1998 when Lois and the woman worked together on behalf of an international charity. We remained friendly with them even though they lived in California. We saw them a number of times until roughly 2001, when we lost physical touch, but maintained an email relationship.

After all this time, the woman came to NYC last night for some charity event, and Lois got to have a nice lunch with her today, and then she came back to the apartment so I got to spend some time catching up as well. What a treat! We’ll see her again in December when she returns to the city with her mom, whom we’re looking forward to meeting.

So, long-lost friends week was nearly literally a week, as it started last Friday at dinner, and ended today in the afternoon after lunch and a visit in our apartment.