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by Laramie Boyd
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Old friends. What memories those two words conjure up. They mean something so different
to each of us. It could be recalling High School pals, or Army buddies, maybe someone we worked with for several years. The sad part
about those memories is that we drift away from our old friends, each of us going our own way, doing our own thing, either one of
us, or both, moving out of town or out of state. We get married, have kids, and before long we get wrapped up in our small world and
lose track or forget about our friends and they disappear from our minds and lives. But if we're lucky, one day we get a reminder,
maybe a phone call, or a picture in the paper, a letter, an e-mail, something that takes us back and jolts us out of the present and
returns us to our past. And it's a pleasant past, because what we remember are the good times with our old friends. Times we'll never
have again, but we relive them in our mind and they seem almost as fresh and real as when they were taking place.
We begin to remember
things, like our first date, or the double date in our dad's car. Our first dance, holding someone so close, or first kiss, these
things come to mind. We can almost feel the embrace, the thrill of such exciting, intimate contact. Sometimes, the memories hurt,
like when we broke up with our steady girl. How it shattered us, made us feel that our world had ended. And when we made up, how good
life was again. Streams of events and people flash by, out of any sequence or order, just thoughts of those years far away and surreal.
And in these moments, often we begin to take a good look at where we are in life, what
we've accomplished, who has been instrumental in helping us get to where we are, and we think of our present friends. We begin to
ask ourselves if we are appreciating the friends we have today. Will we look back in later years and say "What great times those were?"
Are we taking advantage of the good times we can have now enjoying the people around us, friends that may also drift away from us,
and go separate ways, and be just memories, disappearing from our minds and lives until some other event makes us stop and recollect?
Words from a song come to mind. "Old friends. Pitching pennies in the park, playing croquet
til' it's dark. Looking up to find a bird, arm in arm to climb a curb. Swapping lives and loves, tossing popcorn to some doves. Old
friends." These kinds of simple things are what make good memories. Maybe the best friends we have are old friends. Let's be grateful
if we have even one old friend, and let's cherish the memories