Thursday, December 30, 2004

Seeing an old friend

I was excited on Sunday night when I read an email from my old friend Brian telling me he would be visiting the area several days this week. He suggested we meet for dinner.

Brian and I lived near each other as kids and attended the same elementary school. We were in different classrooms so we didn't technically know each other then. We also went to the same middle (junior high) school, and that is where we met. We are very different in many ways, but became fast friends. I am taller, heavier and more outgoing than he. Brian is smarter, gentler, and more insightful than me. We remained friends through high school, and even after he went off to college we would occasionally run into one another when attending concerts at our old high school. After college Brian moved to NC and became a band teacher.

A few years later we reconnected and Brian invited me to visit him in NC for a weekend and attend a school musical in which his students were performing. We had a very nice weekend and enjoyed catching up. A few years later I received Brian's wedding invitation. I wanted so much to be there, but as luck would have it, his wedding date was the same as my cousin's, and I couldn't be at both weddings.

A few years later Brian and I began emailing. We found it an efficient way to keep up with what was happening in each other's lives. One day Brian emailed me that he would be in the area visiting his parents, and would like to get together. It had been about 10 years since we'd seen each other. We met at Chilli's and talked for several hours about his wife and marriage, my coming out and Joe, work, family, and religion. It was a great visit and we promised that the next time we'd include his wife Jennifer and my partner Joe.

So, two and a half years later, Brian and Jennifer and Joe and I met for dinner last night. We had a lovely time talking and catching up. Brian seems the same to me as he always has: sweet, kind, gentle, smart. His wife Jennifer was all of the same. I couldn't believe how fast the time had gone by when we put on our coats and walked to our cars.

What a gift to have a friend like Brian, who's remained a friend through all of life's changes.

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