Make new friends but keep the old,
For one is silver, the other gold.
A verse written in my autograph album when I was about 8 and autograph albums were the craze. Recently I have come to appreciate just how golden my old friends are, and I am very moved by their acts of kindness and generosity
I have lived abroad for over 45 years of my life, and I have to admit that for many years I didn’t keep up with childhood chums. I was far away, they were busy with their lives, I with mine, and none of us had much time to spare. Under those circumstances, it is very easy to lose touch and never see or hear of one another again.
Maybe it’s advancing age that suddenly kicks us into awareness of who and what are important in our lives. Whatever the reason, during the last decade or so I have re-established contact with former schoolmates and rekindled relationships with other old friends. In many cases, we have been able to pick up more or less where we left off and whatever it was that caused us to be friends in the first place still seems to work. As far as personality goes, it seems we don’t really change!
All of us have left our hometown and although a few are living within a radius of 20 miles of my childhood home, hardly any of them have contact among themselves. I have become the spider in the middle of the web!
Over the past months, things have not always been easy or gone according to plan and I have needed assistance and sympathy. I am temporarily back in that old childhood home, far from my “silver” friends. And I realise that, apart from close family and wonderful neighbours, the people who ring up, drop in for a cup of tea or coffee, invite me out, offer their services for whatever needs doing, are mostly folk I have known since my school days, in some cases since I was five years old. I am not only amazed, I am infinitely grateful for such a blessing.
I sincerely hope that my grandchildren will find the same solid gold friendship that lasts through the years.