I can’t help but share a wonderful surprise that occurred for Michael and I this past week. We still can’t believe the sheer alignment or happenstance of crossing paths with childhood and early married day friends – in another country.
We headed to Phoenix this past weekend for a quick getaway to visit family friends. On our first morning, Michael and I set out for a run. We ran through a residential area before heading into some hills. As we ran by one home, we noticed the car in the driveway had a Manitoba license plate (our home province!). Michael commented and we kept going. Later, I mentioned that I “thought” friends of ours (who we spent much time with during “younger days” and who lived in another city) had a vacation home somewhere in the area. I sent a text to that friend, hoping I still had the right number, to say hello. No sooner did I hit send, I received a reply and discovered the house we ran past was theirs! They had just arrived a few days prior.
It felt like we won the lottery, and instantly made plans to visit that evening.
Who would have thought? The evening turned into a reminisce of the past 15 years plus, and it was one of those moments we felt time had stood still since our last visit together. The only difference (now being a little older and wiser) were the topics of conversation, largely focused on sharing stories and updates of our children, our families, and most importantly, this next phase of life: being 50. Our experiences, wisdom, middle-aged acceptance (or not), adult children, ageing parents, loss of parents, and our hopes for this next phase – all very different from conversations at our last visit – created sincere and comedic moments. There was laughter around kids moving out and the “new age of children’s dependency”, particularly animated by Michael and Murray, versus my and Shaunna’s kindred spirit of hanging on to every precious moment with our children we can. In all ways, a beautiful shift to caring and sharing of what was “now”.
The hours passed easily and the evening came to an end. Michael was leaving the following morning, but I was fortunate to stay in Phoenix a few more days, which allowed Shaunna and I to squeeze in two more visits together. We took in a hike, some pool time, and a happy hour together. Soul sister conversations filled our space, and this time, we agreed it was “See You Later“ and not goodbye.
The four of us had skipped sharing one full life stage together. We jumped from the daring carefree days of being teenagers and newlyweds, to now being middle-aged with adult children… I guess in many ways carefree once again, this time with added wisdom! Here we are, with adult children – the same age the four of us were when we spent so much time together. How have times changed!
It seems these days, this world is a smaller and smaller place and I’ll bet if you’re travelling, you may know a friend or two whose within reach. It is a true privilege to call someone a lifelong friend, and while the months and years may have passed by quickly, with Shaunna and Murray it felt like we hadn’t missed a beat. I am sure you have come across that exact feeling at some point, and that one or two special people come to mind immediately. Those people, those memories, and those moments we feel right back at home with one another – are what make the friends we keep for life.
So reach out to that person, and see what they’re up to these days. The way your heart feels full again is so very wonderful and gratifying, and is one of the best experiences we can take in at this stage in life. And…because we can.
I dedicate this post to Jim and Linda, who without the opportunity to visit them in their beautiful Phoenix home, the coincidence of connecting with Shaunna and Murray would not have happened. Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and family friendship. xo
Photos: Murray – as guided by us 🙂 and Me!
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