Old Home Week · 22 February 2007

The last couple weeks have been like old home week. I have either seen or heard from many people who I have not seen or heard from in quite some time. I saw a couple former students. I heard from a student who used to be in the youth group I led long ago. (She said that we have known each other for two-thirds of her 30 years.) It has been fun hearing from these people who have been very important in my life and yet it is sad as well. It is sad because I have let life get in the way of keeping up with these important relationships.

These days it is difficult to keep up with friends. I watch students leave the high school and when they come back to visit, I ask how some of their friends have been. Many of them have lost touch with each other. Just as I have lost touch with many of my friends. Sometimes, we lose touch with others because our interests change and we go our separate ways. Sometimes, we lose touch because we are located in different parts of the country. Sometimes, we are just in different counties. Mostly, it seems that we lose touch with each other simply because life happens.

At first, life happening takes the form of new schools, new careers, and new hobbies. People go off to college, then get new careers, then end up on a recreational softball team. Sometimes, they take their old friends with them. Sometimes they do not. New friends and challenges do not take the place of the old friends, they just take the time that we used to spend with each other.

So it goes through life. We get married, have children, and trade in the two-door vehicles for minivans, station wagons, and SUVs. Anything that can carry all the kids and their stuff will do. When we start carting off the kids to soccer and basketball and football and cheerleading and all their other activities time for our friends diminishes even more. We still love those friends but we can not show it with our time so we keep up with letters, emails, and phone calls. Often, those too taper off and we get the occasional email and the yearly Christmas card and/or letter.

Old home week may not be a sign but I am taking it as such. With all the different people I have seen or heard from in the past couple weeks, I am hoping that I can change my ways. I am hoping that I can do more than forward silly email jokes. I am hoping that I can do more than just send those yearly Christmas letters to friends.

I did make a small stride. I wrote to a friend that I have not seen in a couple years. It was just a small stride; nevertheless, it was a stride. I hope that I can keep making strides to let my friends know that I know the most important things in life are not things. I hope that I can show them that I know relationships are what really matter in life. And I hope that I can stop letting life happen in such a way as to keep me from spending time with those who really matter most in my life. Maybe then, when I see old friends, it will not be like old home week. It will just be normal to see good friends.

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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