The title sounds dramatic, overly dramatic. I know it does because as soon as I put it down I crinkled my nose and made that face I make when I see something ridiculous. I probably snorted derisively as well, but I am wearing headphones and I can’t hear anything other than Josh Groban and whomever follows him on my iTunes. Oh, it is Kate Bush.
Anyway, today my son the strapping young five year-old dug around in the hall closet and found some photo albums which he insisted I look at with him. It wasn’t like it bothered me. I am a sentimental old fool and I love looking at pictures. Ok, let me qualify that I love looking at my pictures I am less patient about looking at others. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing them but I just don’t have the same attention span for it, does anyone.
The big boy found hundreds of pictures of his old man. He saw me on the blocks at a high school swim meet. Wearing nothing more than a pair of speedos I am poised to launch myself out into the water.
Off to the side I can see friends from the swim team. Nelson, Patrick, Tony and Shannon are all on there staring at the pool. What happened to them. I haven’t seen nor heard a thing about them in more than a decade.
In a different book there is a picture of me leading a hike. I am wearing a pair of shorts, a red bandana and some wayfarers. One hand holds a walkie-talkie and the other has a canteen. My son has two questions. He wants to know if I painted myself brown and when I say no he wants to know if I stopped showering. He doesn’t know that his father tans easily and has been asked many times if he is mixed.
What I want to know is what happened to Ron and Danny. They are in the background of the picture. I spent hours hanging out with them. We were 19 and life was nothing but fun and promises of more fun.
There are other pictures from different times and places. High school and college memories are intermixed with some pictures of me just after college. In every set there are reminders of friendships that have died out. It is a sad thing to me and I find it hard not to be a little disappointed.
I have always been good about staying in touch. I am the guy who will keep calling. I am the friend who won’t always wait for you to call me back because I know that time gets away from all of us and yet there are still all these examples of friendships that no longer exist.
I understand that people grow and move on. There are reasons why some friendships end but there are others that continue on uninterrupted so I know that they do not have to have an ending date. They can continue.
What I am really saying is that today as my son and I looked at these pictures I enjoyed reminiscing. It was fun to think about the good times and to laugh as remembered. What it really was is a reminder that I need to keep working at maintaining things. Tomorrow I have a few phone calls to make. It is time again to reach out and touch someone.