8th grade can be a trying time for just about anyone, especially for boys… you’re starting to figure out who you are, you’ve figured out that girls aren’t half as bad as you originally thought, but you can’t for the life of you figure out how to talk to them without having your voice crack. So, you just end up hanging out with your friends… your ‘guy’ friends, if only because misery loves company… and that’s OK.
That may be a bit of a blanket statement, but that is pretty much how it went for me. It was the fall of 1979, my family had just moved the summer before so I was in a new school where I knew absolutely no one, while it seemed that everyone there had been together since birth. I had no idea where I would fit in, no gumption to talk to any one, and a burgeoning case of acne that made me paranoid that no one would ever think of talking to me. Much to my surprise, I did make friends with a few cool people in relatively short time and it turned out to be a pretty cool year… I don’t claim to understand why, but there emerged a three-some of friends that managed to stay friends from there forward, even despite all three of us going to 3 different high schools. We always stayed in touch… and these were the kind of friends that could always pick up right where we left off, no matter what kind of time or distance had separated us. All three of us were in all three of our weddings, swapping off turns at Best Man… I’ve come to learn that friendships such as these a quite a rarity, so I consider myself beyond blessed to have had these guys in my life.
As I’m still here in Phoenix, I had a chance to reconnect with Spencer and Ryan 2 nights ago… it’s been nearly 2 years since we all shared a meal together, but in that hour or so, we caught up on each others lives, shared the same old stories that always make us laugh until we hurt, and vowed once again that we will never lose touch. Such lofty promises may sound unrealistic, but I’ve come to trust that these guys will hold me to the promise, and we will be together again… some day. I took the opportunity to tell these great guys how much I appreciate them.
We’ve gained some wrinkles and lost hair in 30 years, but we’ve never lost sight of the value of a life-long friend.