Please note: this is not a carefully crafted piece of writing. Today, I have come here simply to think out loud. You are free to join me if you wish…
I have been reflecting on the nature of shared experiences recently, about how there are people in our lives with whom time can ‘concertina’. I guess you know the kind of people I mean. You will have shared a significant portion of your life with them, both in terms of time and location, and also your hardships and celebrations. These are the people that you can sit down with, after many years have elapsed, and speak as if you last met only yesterday. I love having those people in my life, there is something very special about that kind of friendship.
I took this thought a bit further today. I found myself musing on the fact that the people who know us the best are often those with whom we have shared the most. I used to have a sister. I say ‘used to’, because sadly she died over two years ago. She and I had shared experiences which spanned our respective lives. Experiences from childhood and memories which would only make sense to ourselves, and perhaps also to our parents. I am the youngest repository of those memories now, the other two being my Mum and Dad – who I am fortunate to still have in my life. This won’t always be the case, though. Eventually, my parents will go the same way as my sis, and I will be left.
This thought makes me feel a little bit adrift in this world. It is not only the fact that these shared memories will ultimately be shared with no-one else, but also the realisation that these people – who have known me the longest and to some extent know me the best – will be gone.
Which brings me full circle, to those friends with whom time concertinas. As I said, I am grateful for these friends. I am also very glad of those with whom time has no need to concertina, because we have managed to keep in touch during the intervening years. My longest-standing friends are probably those I first met at Uni, when I was all of 19 years old (a mere *ahem* years ago). These people will eventually become those who have known me for the greater part of my life, and the only ones who have really known me since I was that young.
I’m not sure what this means. I know it means I am very blessed to have such friends. Perhaps it makes them sort of ‘time-siblings’, though I’m sure there is a better way of saying that. I guess, if you read this and realise you are one of my concertina friends or ‘time-siblings’, I would like you to know that I am glad to have you in my life; you are precious to me and you are loved.