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Old friends are there when you need them most

May 12, 2012
By Bonnie Phares , The Inter-Mountain

In the past few months I have encountered two individuals who give credence to the term "old friendships." Those are the kind who are tried and true, no matter what. The kind of friends who are there when you need them most, even though you might not have seen them for years.

Here's the story on the first one. I have needed knee replacement for quite some time and had the surgery in February - another story all in itself, believe me. Apprehension set in last fall, uncertainty about what I was getting into.

I did a lot of praying about the right decision, literally asking God to give me some personal direction. And I got it.

I went for a regular doctor's appointment in November and in walked Deb, whom I really hadn't talked to for five or six years, even though we had forged a strong friendship through United Way. She was using a crutch and, when I inquired, informed me that she had just had knee replacement. Just what I needed - a veteran of the procedure, someone who had been there. We talked for some time, with her offering me the reassurance that I needed to make my decision to have the surgery.

Once the knee replacement was scheduled, I approached Deb again - for more of that reassurance - and got it. Then, lo and behold, the afternoon of my surgery, into my hospital room she walks and sits down to talk and see how I'm doing. During the conversation, my sister from Virginia expressed my concern about being unable to drive to and from physical therapy in the coming weeks. Without any hesitation whatsoever, Deb volunteered to take me for at least the first two weeks. As it turned out, it amounted to three weeks.

It is hard for me to put into words what her concern and caring meant to me, especially since we had almost lost contact entirely. But, then, I reminded myself of the friendship we had built all those years ago and that Deb is the kind of person I could call on if 20 years had passed. She would not hesitate one minute; she would be at my door to do whatever I needed done.

How I enjoyed all those trips to physical therapy, with Deb going in with me because she needed to restart her therapy, also. We talked about old times, family, the world situation. I even got to meet her 2-year-old grandson, who is gonna knock the girls dead someday. She cared enough to come get me and see me safely up my basement stairs when she delivered me back to Gilman.

That's what "old" friendships are all about. There are those friends you make who seem to "pass in the night." You enjoy their company, but it isn't a lasting thing. Then there are the Deb's of this world. And thank God for them. She came back into my life just when I needed her and stayed longer than we had planned.

Then, during physical therapy, of all places, in walks Mr. K. who was there because he had carpal tunnel surgery on his hand. I had not seen him either in five or six years, but the time didn't matter. We immediately connected because our past goes way back to our growing up days.

His parents lived in Glady where my Grandaddy Piercy and my dad had a hunting camp. There were many happy trips made by our young family to that camp in the summer, and plenty more made by my dad during deer season.

Although I wasn't that old then, I still vividly recall Mr. K's mom and dad and his brothers and sisters. I remember, particularly, a picture my dad took of his dad, Fred, and a small black bear that had somehow wandered onto their property. Too bad the photo is long lost, or I would give it to him.

We haven't gotten to reminisce that much during therapy, although we did bring up the subject of ramps the other day. We were both raised on them, so they are our ritualistic "spring tonic." Mr. K. recalled his dad and mine digging ramps together. I recalled that my dad would then eat them before he got home, and my mother wanted to put him in the barn to sleep.

Another one of those "old friendships." Years have passed since Mr. K. and I have seen each other, but it all seems like yesterday. I'm so grateful to have someone to share those memories with, because I know time will soon take its toll on all of us. And then the memories - and the old friendship - will be lost forever.

So, if you get the chance to rekindle a long, past friendship, take advantage of the opportunity. There's no doubt there will be blessings abundant in it for you. I hope you run into someone this coming week and that you don't just pass by but stop and say, "It sure is good to see you! How long has it been?"



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