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Feelings to Cherish When Old Friends Meet

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor shares tips for smooth relationships with friends and encounters with strangers.

Returning after five years to a city in the United States where I previously lived and worked, I met with my old friends. The joy I experienced from the reunion had less to do with how long I had known them or how much I had missed them, and more to do with how they made me feel.

If I could, I would have bottled the good feelings so I could pour them out as from a genie, whenever I need a dose of happy memories. Instead, I try here to capture them in print while they still warm my heart.

On days when my sense of happiness needs a boost, reading this page will help me relive the pleasurable feelings I experienced during my visit with my friends. Hopefully, others will relate and share my joy.

Credit: Artsy Bee

Credit: Artsy Bee

Connected

Soul connections are not often found and are worth every bit of fight left in you to keep.- Shannon L. Alder

Each of my friends had communicated with me, though not often, on FaceBook or on the phone; but even when there was a long pause between conversations, we were certain that the friendship was intact. When we met and our bodies connected in hand clasps and embraces, the physical touch was a solid affirmation that the souls and spirits were also connected.

My friends could still interpret my smiles and my sighs. I still understood when a line spoken with a serious face was intended to make us laugh. We were an emotional and spiritual part of each other and as long as our visits lasted, our happy connection enclosed us in our own happy world.

Valued

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth. – Robert Southey

There is an important reason that motivates us to nurture this bond of friendship that stretches but does not break over time and distance. We value each other. Beyond the doctoral degrees which two of them have earned, and the differences in academic qualifications between the rest of us, there is high regard for the successful strides we have made and for the fact that we have contributed positively to each other’s lives.

On the job, we had cheered each other on when our efforts went unnoticed by management. In the church, we had inspired each other to excellence in leadership. In our homes, we had shared our struggles and prayed for our children. We appreciated the individual worth of each one. When we met, our generous praise of each other rekindled our sense of personal worth.

Rejuvenated

Keep your friendships in repair, and then see if you do not find your horizon broadened, your life sweetened, and the weary weight of this sad old world lightened. ~Silas X. Floyd

These friends had been absent from my life since my return to the Caribbean to become my mother’s caregiver. Had anyone of them been physically present, my load would have been lighter; my loneliness would have been less intense. Why am I so sure? We had been practical help and support for each other in the past. Therefore, just being in their presence revived me.

Free Wallpaper

Free Wallpaper

We talked about the encouragement we had shared in our previous interactions. We laughed about the days when the one on the mountaintop gave advice to the one in the valley, then had to be reminded to take her own medicine when positions shifted. We looked at photographs that showed us working, eating and playing together. We believed in ourselves again, and in the power of togetherness.

Nostalgic

Old friends are the great blessing of one's later years . . . They have a memory of the same events and have the same mode of thinking. - Horace Walpole

“Remember when” began many of our sentences. Then, with our mental eyes we watched the reruns of episodes which told the stories of our personal strides, or showed significant development in our friendship.

One such episode reminded us of a certain friend who scouted through the weekend newspaper, searching for coupons for our favorite restaurant buffet. We ate well even though we could not afford the more luxurious establishments. Whenever we dined out, it was a celebration of our resolve to enjoy our lives with the money we could afford, rather than pine for the money we wished we had. We decided on our three of four course servings, then postured ourselves like princesses. The only difference between us and royalty was that we served ourselves.

During my visit, we discovered that the name of the restaurant had changed, but the food and the service were exactly what we had missed. We were sad that dining together could no longer be a habit, but we were happy to do it one more time.

Dear Old Friends

Photo by Kim Scarborough

Photo by Kim Scarborough

Privileged

Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends. - H. Jackson Brown

People who live long enough to retire are privileged. They are free to visit other retired friends as well as those who have less opportunity for travel because they still have jobs. It was my privilege to visit my three friends who, like me, have retired, as well as the other three who have not. Above all the other feelings described earlier, there was the feeling of gratitude for life with which we all are still blessed.

We are also grateful for the privilege of being friends and having friends--blessings which we do not take for granted. Our friendships are proven and destined to last throughout our lifetime. Added to the joy of our relationship is the fact that we all maintain connection with God, the Source of love that inspires true friendship.

Three Ways to Nurture the Good Feeling of Friendships

  • Schedule regular chats on FaceTime or the telephone. It is great to call anytime, but chat time can also be something to look forward to - every Monday night, every other Saturday night, or whenever the friends decide.
  • Send a piece of yourself occasionally, in a handwritten letter or greeting card. Bonnie Cohen, certified life and relationship coach puts it this way: "You’ve chosen the card, touched the paper, signed your name and licked the stamp. A message you send through the mail literally contains your DNA.”
  • Plan to meet. Whenever possible, attend conferences sponsored by organizations that you both know; plan a trip for sight-seeing in a city neither of you have visited before; or just take turns visiting each other. Every two or five years is better than never.

Friendship Letter Poll

© 2017 Dora Weithers

Comments

Lauren on December 14, 2018:

Okay I have a new story I met a guy named Roger he sat down and talked to me he listened while I told him about how my dad passed away that it was only five years ago which is very recent I also told him about how I felt Jesus holding my hand when I was home alone I was having a panic attack and I felt a hand in mine Roger also gives me a sense of security like I can trust him but I haven't told him yet because I'm still trying to see how this friendship is going to go

Lauren on August 17, 2018:

I will always treasure true friends it took me a while to figure it out then I had to end a friendship and I figured out that Vincent a guy I have known since high school is like a brother to me and is always there for me he's so sweet he stayed up texting me all night when I cried because I miss my dad so bad especially at night because he would always come in and tuck me in and when I feel sick Vincent talks to me

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 17, 2018:

Lauren, cherish your friendships and continue being supportive to each other.

Lauren on August 16, 2018:

I also have a friend that I don't know how to spell his name but he's so sweet and wonderful he makes me feel comfortable when I hardly know anyone where we are he makes me feel like I can trust him I've known him since he was a baby he's wonderful I honestly don't know where I'd be without him he assured me that I did the right thing when I ended the one toxic friendship he said he will text me when he gets the chance he's wonderful

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 15, 2018:

Lauren, thanks for sharing. Happy for you that you experience cherished friendships, and that you have the courage to say no to friendships that do not fit your standards. Way to go!

Lauren on August 14, 2018:

Yes I believe that a true friend should be treated like a treasure and cherished forever I know this because I have so many good friends that are so good to me and I had a friendship that ended because I didn't want the kind of friendship he was giving me

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 24, 2018:

Thanks, Mary. One of the benefits of old age is friendship that has stood test of time. We are blessed!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 24, 2018:

This is precious. Reminds me of my meetings with my old friends. I visited one lately as she was based in Madrid and we were driving to Porto from Barcelona, it was a convenient stop. It rejuvenates me each time I meet the group or even just one of them. You wrote about it beautifully.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 07, 2017:

Shauna, you know that's right. We're already planning our next reunion. Thanks for your encouragement.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 07, 2017:

Thank you for sharing this, Dora. True friendship stands the tests of time and distance. I know you and your gal pals had a blast and will always treasure the reunion.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2017:

Thanks, Glen. Thank God, for genuine friends. They show up when others make excuses. Good for you that the incident helped you figure out your real friends.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on May 04, 2017:

This is a wonderful detailed story of true friendship. Well done!

I once learned who my true friends where when my Aunt died years ago and many friends came to the funeral. Many traveled long distances to attend, and that caused me to take notice of a couple of friends who lived nearby but couldn't find it in their hearts to wish me condolences.

I always suspected a weak relationship with those two, but that event made it clear.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 04, 2017:

Thanks Mary. In the long run our friendships matter more than most everything else. Happy for you that you found your high school friends.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on May 04, 2017:

I lost contact with my friends from high school until recently. One found me again through Facebook and the others I sent letters to.

It is just as you said, those connections are always there no matter how long it's been. We now enjoy sharing not just our memories but also our current lives and dreams of the future.

This article is a lovely tribute to friends, be they near or far.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 03, 2017:

Thanks, Denise. So you really relate to my feelings toward old friends and friendships. Unforgettable feelings!

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on May 03, 2017:

It is interesting how when we see people we know and love after a period of time, it is like our relationship just picks up where it left off the last time we were together! I cherish these times with both friends and family, and look forward to the next time we are together, no matter when it is!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2017:

Thanks, Audrey. I tell you, it is a wonderful thing indeed. The reunion even seemed sweeter in some ways though the initial time we spent together was years longer.

Audrey Howitt from California on May 02, 2017:

This is just wonderful Dora! Finding old friends, catching up and realizing that some of the old bonds are still there is a wonderful thing!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2017:

Natalie, I think that in the retirement years when there is a little more time to reflect on what really matters, we try to grab onto our friendships. Your comment is very encouraging. Thanks!

Natalie Frank on May 02, 2017:

Your articles are so beautifully written. It seems often in this busy world we let friendships slip away. This is very poignant and meaningful. Thank you for writing it.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2017:

Michael, what an encouragement you are and have always been! It boosts my sense of worth to be associated with such an affirming proverb. God bless you!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2017:

Thanks, Jackie. God's blessings on you too. Sorry for the loss of your best friend and I pray that you find your other friend. What a reunion that would be, Anyway, thank God for the memories!

Michael Milec on May 01, 2017:

Encouraged by your article and a distinctive joy that you have experienced with your friends, my best appreciation of knowing you MsDora comes from the words of Proverbs,

"Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel. "

Blessings always.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on May 01, 2017:

I am so happy for you, Dora. I lost my very best friend in 2005 and my other close friend I have lost all touch with, not to be found at classmates or through friends so I only hope she has not passed on too. But the memories will be here as long as I live and breathe so they live too always in my heart.

God bless and keep you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2017:

Louise, you are a gem for writing letters regularly. That mode of expressing our love is more valuable than most people know.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on May 01, 2017:

I agree with the quote. Our most valued antiques are, indeed, our friends. I regularly write hand written letters. I love writing letters and receiving them.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Thanks, Alicia. I share your love of that idea. A handwritten letter by itself is a great gift these days, and that extra DNA bit makes it even more special. Thanks for your feedback.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2017:

This is a lovely article about the value of friendship, Dora. I'm glad that you met your friends again. I love the idea of sending a piece of ourself via our DNA when we lick the stamp of a letter!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Thanks, Tamara. I especially like the hugs! Back at you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Thank you, Terrielyn. Friendship is a topic that I like much better than I can demonstrate in my writing. Happy that you share my love for it.

Tamara Moore on April 30, 2017:

This is a very heartwarming and loving article, and the photo of the two of you, together, is beautiful. I also liked your tips on how to keep friendships nurtured. I also did not know that you were a Christian counselor! This is wonderful!

Big Hugs,

Tamara

Terrie Lynn from Canada on April 30, 2017:

What a lovely picture of the two of you. Aren't friends amazing and finding old ones renew us again. I love that you wrote about friends.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Manatita, we had a blast. There were times when I visited with only one friend, but I ate with as many as four at one time. Wonderful reunion!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Flourish, the thought of that final separation does surface; that makes it even more important to reconnect as often as possible with those who are still here.

manatita44 from london on April 30, 2017:

You obviously had a great time. I find it cool to reminisce on old times, particularly with those who grew up with us. My friends and I sometimes ate on the same plate, shared the same bed, chair, sofa ...

So glad that you feel rejuvenated and privileged and great to see at least one of your friends.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 30, 2017:

I'm so happy for you that you were able to reconnect with old friends and get the love you deserve. I enjoyed you sweet reflections and ideas on reconnecting. What makes my grandma so sad is that all her friends are gone. They provide comfort that family may not.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Bill, thanks for your affirmation. The thrill may be too much if we do this meeting too often; but it is surely enjoyable when it happens.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 30, 2017:

I recently re-connected with my best friend after a twenty year absence, and your hub is all of that experience for sure. What a wonderful thing to once again sit as old friends and cherish every moment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Thank you Maria. I guess the smiles help. Love and smiles go together.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Eric, sharing in the Holy Communion also has its share of good feeling. Thanks for your kind thoughts towards my friends and me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Thanks, JG. I've done that too, with other people's work. It shares the joy.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Bill, thanks for kind thoughts. I'd really prefer not to meet than to meet and not enjoy it. My friends and I are blessed.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

Thanks, Jodah. It was better than I expected and my feeble attempt to share is limited. It was really wonderful.

MariaInes from Johannesburg on April 30, 2017:

MsDora, you and your friend look lovable together :-)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 30, 2017:

Dora, I feel good for you as your friends clearly made the full effort to get together because you were home. Today I will reach out because of this fine work. For some reason I was made aware of our celebration of the Holy Eucharist (communion) and the breaking of bread with loved ones here. Thank you for sharing this.

jgshorebird on April 30, 2017:

I reminisced along with you.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 30, 2017:

So happy for you, Dora. A high school friend visited me a few years back, and we enjoyed going down Memory Lane. There are several others I'd like to see again but haven't had the chance. Anyway, I'm glad you were able to meet with yours and you had a meaningful experience. My guess is that not all reunions end in happy moments.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on April 30, 2017:

This is a delightful article, MsDora. There really is nothing better than catching up with old friends. I enjoyed this very much.

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