Friday, November 02, 2007

Long Lost Friend

I've never been the best at keeping in touch with people, especially long distance friends. I'm not much of a phone person, though a few people can make me give AT&T's lines a good workout from time to time. Most of those folks are in my family or among my closest of friends.

The art of writing personal letters is not something I ever seriously pursued. The art of writing an email, not that's me! I acknowledge that it's not always the best way to express things, but it sure is convenient! Just sit down, type your thoughts and hit "send." Gotta love it. Regardless the mode, you must have either a phone number, address, or email address for the person with whom you wish to communicate.

Early this week, I received a text message on my cell phone from a friend I hadn't seen or talked to in probably 10 years. All I could say is, "WOW!" because I was so shocked. Then, I picked up the cell and called him.

Marcus and I met when I lived in Jackson, Mississippi. I won't go into to all the details, but suffice it to say we became close friends and stayed such until I moved to Columbia. He's a great guy with a super smile, wonderful sense of humor, and a personality that exudes unadulterated fun and super sensitivity all at the same time.

When I moved to Columbia in 1996, Marcus and I lost touch. We were reunited in 1997 when I returned to Jackson one weekend for a party my friend Karl was hosting. Marcus was there and we enjoyed reconnecting. Then, once again, we lost touch. I don't know what happened. For the next 10 years, I would periodically think about him and wonder if he was still in Jackson or living someplace else. I'd wonder if he had found romance and settled down with someone, if he'd found his dream job, I just wondered if he was doing well. I now have the answers to all of those questions.

Marcus ran into Karl last weekend in Atlanta. Karl, knowing how much I've always wondered how Marcus was doing, passed along my number. Isn't Karl just the best? Marcus is doing quite well, living in suburban Atlanta, holding down a nice job which has him traveling the country training employees for a children's dental office chain. We've spoken to or text messaged each other everyday this week, trying to catch up on the 10 years lost.

Sometimes, you just don't truly appreciate a person until they disappear from your life. I certainly learned that a year ago when Bruce departed this earth. I learned it earlier when Rudy and I stopped talking for several years. And, I've learned it with Marcus. Some friends come and go in your life and it's no great loss. Others come and go and leave a tremendous void. If you can find them again and you learn they also had a void, you've got a truly lasting friendship that you should value like family.

Marcus, it's great to have you back in my life. Your return has put smiles on my face at a time when it's been difficult to muster them. THANKS! Now, don't even think about disappearing again!

Oh, Good Evening!