In early October I got to be part of some homecomings and overlapping visits of old friends. Kelly made it back to SJ to adopt my Sis-In-Law's dog (being the saint she is drove all the way from AZ to pick her up). Kerr came for a wedding. It was the first time since my wedding in 2005 they were here at the same time.
Kelly and I sat across from one another in eighth grade science. We've been close ever since. We saw each other through the best and worst of high school. We helped each other grapple with things fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen year olds should never have to face. We built the sort of bonds that make you sisters no matter the passage of time. Kel moved to Arizona after shortly after we graduated and, although we visited regularly for a few years, in the end we floated in and out of one another's lives. This time it had been two years since we'd seen each other.
Kerr and I met in junior high as well. We started to get close when he & Dom would cut church and walk to my house on Sunday mornings. It wasn't until freshman year, however, that we became best friends. Strangely enough, I remember the exact moment that cinched it. I was fourteen and he was fifteen (our birthdays are back to back) and it was at a party at Raf's. I was there for him in a moment of need. After that we were there for each other, period. Over the last eighteen years our lives have changed and gone in different directions, but there has never been a moment when we couldn't call the other. Kerr had been home several months back, but we never get to see enough of each other when he is here and there is always a sadness when he has to go back to Texas.
The weekend after Kelly and Kerr's visits I got to see my cousin Bart for the first time in twelve years. Bart & I are only a few months apart in age. We grew up near each other until we were about eight years old and our families moved. His to Wisconsin and mine to California. From then on we lived half way and, at times, all the way across the country from each other. We'd see each other every few years and it'd be like no time had passed at all. I can't believe this time it had been twelve years, long enough for me to finish college, him to be stationed overseas more than once, us to both get married, and for me to have a child.
What I wanted to write about was that moment you first see a loved one after much too much time has passed. It is the moment you first lay eyes on them when it fully hits you just how much you've missed them. You are always aware that you miss them when you think of them, but life keeps going and you accept that you don't get to see them. You stop really thinking about the fact that they are no longer part of your everyday life, though you'd like them to be. All of that dulls until the moment you see them again. All of a sudden it washes over you how much you've missed them and how glad you are that they have been in your life. I felt so blessed to get to have three of those moments within a week. Kelly, Kerr, and Bart, I love you guys more than you know. Boppa, Momma, Richard, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins, Talicia, Amaya, Janette, and a few others, I'm waiting for those moments. I love you and I can't wait until I see you next!!