Ones You Had When You Were 12

Hometown, USA, Near Gettysburg
Hometown, USA, Near Gettysburg

Lorie Sheffer has been a Guest Blogger here at Mid Life Celebration for so many weeks in a row, I can’t imagine Sunday’s here without her. Take it away Lorie:

“I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” That line is from one of my favorite movies, Stand By Me, which was based on the novella The Body, by Stephen King.

How often do you think of your childhood friends? Are you still in contact with them? My parents are both in their late seventies and they are still friends with many of the same people they grew up with. One of my dad’s best friends from high school is now a hospital volunteer. One night as I was leaving at the end of visiting hours, I ran into Fred as he was coming in. “Just thought I’d sit with him for awhile. I know how bad it gets in here at night.” Although the two of them had run into one another at class reunions over the years they weren’t in constant contact, yet their bond remains.

Even though I now live only a half hour drive from the same house I grew up in, I lost touch with all of my childhood friends. I think that my desire to reconnect was dampened when I contacted one of them and was horribly disappointed. What can you do when someone sits across the table from you and spews bigoted hatred and disgust toward groups of people who you hold close to your heart? Clearly she would not want to be a part of my world any more than I would have the desire to allow her into it. I felt a wave of sadness for the lovely childhood memories that had just been destroyed. Sometimes it is best to leave the past exactly there, in the past.

Several years had gone by since that unfortunate encounter, when I saw a very familiar name on Facebook. I had remembered Jeff since first grade. He had always been The Adorable Nice Guy. Sometimes handsome high school star athletes have a problem dealing with their attractiveness. He never did. In fact, he didn’t even seem to notice. How heartbreaking it would be if he had now become a creep. I took a deep breath and contacted him. I could tell by his reply that he was still the nice kid I remembered, married to his college sweetheart and the father of a little boy just as adorable as I remember him to be. YAY! My faith was restored.

Next week I am planning to have dinner with an old friend. We met in first grade and I have not seen her since we both attended the funeral of a dear mutual friend twenty-one years ago. She was as silly as I was, and because we lived such a short distance from one another we were together quite a bit. We had sleepovers in the summer and went to the same community pool. We cried over boys and shopped and went to movies. We confided our deepest secrets and laughed till we cried. We sang a duet of Midnight Train to Georgia every time it played over the car radio. I ran into her sister last week and she gave me contact information. Via a series of emails, I told my old friend to choose the time and place. I told her that I hope when we both get to the restaurant we recognize one another. For some reason, I have a feeling that we will pick up right about where we left off. You never have friends later on like the ones you had when you were twelve.

(next blog)

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.