With everything going on in my life over the last year I have admittedly have not had as much "free time" to spend with friends. But a funny thing has happened recently and I have gotten to spend time with a few folks that I have known 25+ years. Some I have stayed in regular contact with but don't get to see as often as we would like due to distance and obligations, others I only really get to keep up with on Facebook and the occasional run-in.
The one thing that has been universal with all of these interactions is just how easy it's been and how good it feels to be with them. We all have gone in some wildly different directions and are all in different places in our lives. Some are married, some are single, some are divorced. Some have had great success others have had some tragedy. The one thing that's universal is that we shared high school and the years from 14 - 18 where we had A LOT of fun and in many ways shaped who we have become.
The bonds we shared then and now have us forever connected. Feeling and caring for each other in a way that I think is unique and special. It's not that our adult friendships aren't special - but these friendships are different. We can sit and laugh now at how silly or horrible we were. About the things we did that freak us out a little now. The parties we went to, the relationships that started and stopped at a crazy frequency and with each we thought it was the beginning or end of the world.
These are the friends that drifted apart but have been brought back together from time to time for reunions, weddings, and sadly funerals. They were the friends that bonded together when we lost some of our own on 9/11. The friends that celebrated each others successes the friends and maybe at times failures. That realize now that some of our behavior back in high school was childish but also realize we were children and it is so far in the past.
I hope we always stay connected even if we only see each other once or twice a decade. The one thing I do know - that no matter how much time passes, we will always have a true bond and if any of these folks needed something I would be there for them as quick as they would be for me.