Recently my grandson Stephen left the house saying, ‟I’m going to hang out with some friends.” Since he’s lived in Indianapolis since conception, he’s known many of his friends his whole life.
I’ve had the advantage of moving a lot, but that means a disadvantage of not having life-long friends. In my childhood and teen years our family rented houses; and when the owner put the house up for sale, we moved. In big cities such as New Orleans and Mobile, that meant new schools and neighbors. After I married Bill I never saw my school friends again. His first pastorate was in North Biloxi, MS, and then when he started seminary we lived in Kentucky. We claimed friends in our churches, but we moved frequently because of change of appointment.
We’ve bounced from Kentucky to Indiana, back to Kentucky and then to Indiana again. This afforded friends in the academics and in churches. We stay connected with many friends, if not frequently, at least with cards and letters at Christmas, and also on Facebook. I have moved away from friends all my life, yet I still claim some friends as life-long. Some students Bill taught at D’Iberville High School in Mississippi still connect. We have attended several of their reunions, and they even sent a group greeting card for our 60th anniversary.
We’re grateful for those friends who make it a priority to keep in touch, who email and come visit. Some of our friends have moved away from us to other parts of the U.S. or around the world, and we’ve visited a few in Florida and other countries. Then some friends have moved further on — to Heaven. We miss them, and one day we will see them there.
My new best friend in Indy is Beth, and we connect because of a Christian writers group that meets at her church. So God continues to make friendships real and meaningful.