Friday, September 30, 2005

Reconnecting

I met my neighbor Judy at the pool 21 years ago when our children were just little. She had just moved here from San Francisco and was trying to figure out how to get established as a graphic artist. Her daughter Lainie was a late frustrated talker and because she was so non-verbal, she ended up physically lashing out at Rachel a lot. But then they became the best of friends for years. Daniel and Matt were also good friends. Judy and I spent a lot of Friday afternoons downing Kahlua and cream while the kids played.

Over the years we sort of lost touch, as our children went to different schools and our professional lives became busier and busier. Even though I passed her house everytime I left the neighborhood, I did little more than occasionally wave.

We had a glimpse of Judy last year, when she worked so hard to try to get Kerry elected. She wrote impassioned e-mail messages for months afterwards. She bemoaned the loss of that election in much the way that Rebecca did.

As I told Rachel about my search for “true” friends over the past year, she reminded me what a good friend Judy had been so many years ago. We had a lot of the same values, including a strong love of family. I started to wonder why I had let such a friendship lapse, remembering several times when Judy had initiated an interaction.

Recently when David was out on a walk, he ran into Judy and caught up a little. I followed up with an e-mail suggesting a Friday happy hour of Kahlua and cream, just for old times. Judy came over this afternoon and we spent the better part of two hours catching up on the lives of our two families. It was as though there had never been a period of separation. She is so easy to talk to. And Judy has done so many things in her past that absolutely nothing would shock her.

As she left, we vowed to keep up this relationship, not to let it become a distant thing again. It does take work to make and keep friends, but the alternative of isolation from people is no longer an option. I’m glad to have reconnected with my old friend Judy.

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