It Really Is a Small World
It's funny how linked together we are. We make friends, we become very close to them, we grow up, move on, and often lose touch. Sometimes we wonder what our old friends are doing, but it's a passing thought. We never know as we're living our lives what the future holds or who will be in it. As time moves on, one thing becomes very clear--very little separates our past and our future.
I didn't expect my husband to die at an early age. When he did, I expected to spend the rest of my life alone. I didn't expect to start dating someone he had introduced me to once at a party, and I didn't know the relationship would deepen into love. After we had been together for 2 years, I was pretty sure none of my old friends had ever met my new love. Then I listened to a message on my answering machine.
"Hello Cathy, this is Gwen. Rick and I think we know your new fiance, Jim. Actually, Jim's brother Bernie was Rick's best friend in school. Call me back."
Gwen and I went way back. Our fathers graduated from high school together, her aunt married my great-uncle, and our back yards were connected. We experienced so much of life together--I was even her son's godmother-- but gradually work and family responsibilities relegated our friendship to a Christmas card every year and a phone call or visit once in awhile.
I explained my friendship with Gwen to Jim, then told him Gwen and her husband knew him and that Bernie was Rick's best friend in high school. Jim shook his head. "That's impossible. There's no way that your old friend is married to a friend of Bernie's. What's his name?"
When I told him, he smiled. "He was Bernie's best friend. I have to call him."
Bernie was working and didn't answer the call, so Jim left him a message that he wanted to talk to him about a blast from the past. Meanwhile, I called Gwen back. "You met Bernie years ago," she told me. "He was going to be our daughter's godfather, but there were problems because of religion. But he was at the house with Rick sometimes when you stopped over."
Gwen had met Jim at funerals, though they didn't really remember each other. My brother-in-law to be had taken my godson swimming when he was small in the same swimming pool I took my grandson to only a short time ago. Bernie and Rick had lost touch when both of them moved, and Gwen and I had lost touch, but my engagement brought everyone together again. It really is a small world.
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