We treasure those special people we have made memories with, perhaps, even made history with – even if it is just our own!
We need the comfort of friends in times of need. We value friends because we can share the moments of our lives that only a friend would understand. We can have a forever friend – speaking to them once a year – and the conversation picks up in the middle of the sentence where we left off. Without skipping a beat. Friends have a shorthand language all their own.
Friendships are quiet. They are boisterous. There is a rhythm to friendship that is established and treasured. These gems come into our lives and travel our journeys – unconditionally and lovingly.
Then there are the friendships that truly surprise you. These friendships defy time, distance, years that pass in a second, and roads that had traveled in polar opposites. And, yet, these friendships can be as deep and meaningful as if you were always in each other’s lives.
I received a “gift” of friendship this past week…….time-traveled all the way from Quang Tri, Vietnam ….Christmas-past 1970.
Gary Holbrook was a young solider I met at the DMZ on the USO Handshaking Tour to support our troops during major fighting in country.
He was assigned as the official Army photographer to our “little troupe” of American girls there to bring a bit of home to these very young brave men. He was a very promising and talented photographer. He stayed up all night the night before we left to print photos for us. He was so thoughtful, making jokes and bringing laughter to us, and he reassured us during our time in the most dangerous place on the planet during those three days.
He documented our time at the Red Devils Camp – capturing those times in freeze-frame for a lifetime. Memories and experiences that had been stored safely away. Some never spoken of.
Gary was the very first one to order my book when it was published. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw his name on the order sheet! Decades and decades had past – there he was. Never a believer in coincidence – this had meaning.
We corresponded during the passing years – following each other on Facebook, an email here and there, a birthday always remembered, and he followed my writings on Lesli’s Story.
Recently, we had the opportunity of meeting face to face for a heartwarming, Easy Peas-y time together; catching up in an instant, all the years traveled between seeing one another, looking at photographs of our two very “younger” selves, marveling at the friendship, and simply being in this moment in time.
It was wonderful. I thank this wonderful friend of mine. We shared times remembered – many better forgotten. But, now, being brought to the surface in a safe place.
He offered the gift of understanding for a difficult time so long ago….written indelibly on my soul and seared in my mind. Our time reminiscing and sharing our “war-stories” was very healing and cathartic for me.
We never know what is around the corner….take that road less traveled sometimes…who knows what you’ll discover.
Take the time to breathe in your own life and those that enhance yours.