This weekend I went to a lodge in Natchez Trace State Park for one of my great uncle's birthday get-together. A lot of my dad's side of the family was there, including, as is required of such events, a lot of people I do not know. It was fun, though, because there were also people there I knew but hadn't seen in a quite a long time.
It was for Uncle Kelly's 80th birthday, which is just crazy. You know? That seems like such a long time; it's FOUR times as long as I've lived, but I already feel old. Haha. At some point Friday night, some of his friends showed up. I think they were actually more of Aunt Olivia's friends, who is Kelly's wife. They met Aunt Olivia in college, and they had been friends since.
It was surreal. We've always heard that the friends you make in college could be friends for life. Sure, we've always believed it, but it's so weird to actually see it. These women have been friends for almost sixty years! Isn't that insane? I still can't fully wrap my head around it. I think it's absolutely amazing. There's no telling what they've been through together. And...it gives me hope.
It can be done. People can be friends forever. We always say that when we're in primary, and middle school, and high school - but by the time we get to college, we find it a little harder to believe. Because it's then that we realize things change, people change. I actually have friends from high school that I believe will be a part of my life for a long time to come. I pray that they are. But it's still hard. At college I've had two really close friends, and I thought each time that we would be "best friends" all through college. And each time it turned out badly. It's okay now, but it's nothing like I thought it would be.
It's also sad, though. Because I want to keep everyone. I would love to stay in touch with all of the soccer girls after I leave Union, but I can't imagine that happening. Not staying in constant touch, anyway. I believe there will be several that I will, but trying to keep up with all of them...phew! Ha. That would be a job in and of itself. I love all of them, but I'm being realistic. As much as I can be. But you know, maybe I will somehow by the grace of God keep close to the bulk of them.
My freshman year I wrote a paper on friendships in college. I interviewed Lauren (my sister) in order to get her perspective, since she was already out of college and a couple of years into pharmacy school. She talked about how in college you meet people who have the same heart as you, who have that same desire to follow God. That connection will bring you closer than any other. That is a connection that does not easily break. I have found those people, and I have been truly blessed by each of them. I cannot imagine my life without them and believe myself to be stronger having known them.
Those are the ones I want to keep. Those are the ones that have a place in my heart, no matter how far apart we get or how many years go by. They are the ones I would not have survived without, the ones who held me up when I couldn't hold up myself. The ones who were sent by God. I can't thank Him enough for them, but I try. And I can't tell them how much they mean to me, but I try. Because I know how much it means to be told you matter, to be told that you are someone special, that you made a difference in someone's life. To know that you are noticed, and someone is glad you are here.