Thursday, May 03, 2012

Is A Shared Past Enough?

As I've left school and become an adult, I've found enduring friendships to be a real blessing.

I have a friend who I've known since kindergarten.  We went to the same school all the way through to Year 12.  In fact, she just called me this afternoon for a chat.

I have five friends from high school who I keep in touch with regularly  Four of them were my bridesmaids.  They are very dear friends to me.

But not all of my childhood friendships have survived time and distance.  Statistics show that a friendship lasts for an average of seven years.  Some friends were such a part of my life during school days, but now I only see their faces on Facebook.  When I read their statuses and see their photos, I can't help thinking how different our lives are now.  I doubt that we could ever go back to what we had.

Some people say that sharing your childhoods is not enough of a reason to remain friends as an adult.  I think that's true.  It's not enough on its own.  You still need to have something in common as you move towards the future.  As fun as it can be to reminisce about the past, a friendship cannot be based solely on that.

Even though we've all changed, I still feel there is something there.  I doubt we would make the effort to see each other in person, but there still seems to be an enduring bond - especially with some of the girls I went to primary school with.  This really hit home when my Nan became sick and passed away.  I sent a private message to some ladies who I'd become friends with as an adult, and some of them did not reply, even when I let them know of her death.  But some of my primary school friends sent me messages and commented on my status as soon as they read it.  They said they were so sorry for my loss.  Even though many years had passed, they still remembered meeting her at my house when they used to come over to play.

This made me question what friendship truly is about.  I may not see some of these girls in person (although I would love a primary school reunion), but they still remain part of my life.  They were there during some of the most humiliating moments of my childhood.  Some of them have kids now and I send them comments, encouraging them as mothers when they feel like they've just had enough.  Likewise, they encourage me with my book and wish me well when I'm sick.  They are not Christians, yet they have often showed me greater love than some Christians - even from behind a computer screen.

Is a shared past enough?  No, I don't think so.  Not on its own.  But I've come to see that a shared childhood creates a unique bond.

Do you keep in touch with school friends?  Tell me stories...

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