The Long-Lost Friend Re-Discovered

In behavior, Media on April 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

We all have one. The kid we knew when we were little whose house and family were as familiar to us as our own, maybe — if your family was weird or cold or fought a lot — even a refuge from yours. One mom kept a full candy dish because she knew how I loved it and was totally cool when I’d head straight for the fridge after saying hello. (Boarding school food was never enough and never very good.)

I always wondered about Becca, who I knew when we were eight in Toronto and our Dads were both filmmakers. They lived in a huge house with all sorts of nooks and crannies. Her younger brothers — to me, an only child — were deeply exotic, their bedrooms filled with Guystuff. Everyone was insanely creative; she was inventing embroidery stitches at the time and I still have a purse she made for me then. Her older brother (crush!) was my date for a ninth-grade prom. I wore a cobalt blue lace dress, vintage, whose zipper split halfway through the evening. He gallantly covered me with his jacket.

I heard from her this week, after 27 years of silence and constant wondering, on Facebook. She’s just moved to a city about four hours’ drive away and we’re filling in the many blanks. Heaven.

Who have you re-found? Who’s re-discovered you after decades apart? How is it now?

  1. Oh, I have a good one. Tommy was a friend of mine before pre-kindergarten. When my family left Chicago after the third grade, his family was in a terrible car accident where he lost a sister and everyone was injured but him and we spoke on the phone one time right after and then lost touch. After High School, I found myself stopped in Chicago in a blizzard and walked the old neighborhood looking for his home and found his home, knocked, and was let in by his mother. Tommy was living at home and came upstairs.

    By then I was a working cowboy with a drawl, dressed in denim and Tommy was in a band, wearing his hair long, his head hung over and all of it in black. We gawped at each other for five minutes and then I left and our paths never crossed again.

    Until, maybe five or six years ago when he googled me. He lives in Oregon not far from my family. I still don’t see or hear from him often but it isn’t never and if you ever catch me with a lit cigar in my mouth, you can be pretty sure the guy that lit it was Tom. After almost four decades, it’s good to get a bad influence back.

  2. Great story! Becca wasn’t a bad influence. That might have been me, but not very bad. Her brothers were my first exposure, (not literally), to boys, as I had no nearby male cousins or male friends — being in all-girl boarding school.

    I suspect Google and Facebook are creating a lot of these renewed friendships; I heard in the past two years from two far distant, well-loved, ex’es — all of us safely long-married and living very far one from another. It’s been fun to re-connect.

  3. One of the nice things about reconnecting on the internet is that when you bump into an ex, it doesn’t have to be on the street.

  4. One of my exes who found me is now in Virgina (I’m in NY) an the other, at the time, was aboard an icebreaker heading for Siberia. Really.

  5. An icebreaker heading for Siberia? That’s funny as well as last-scene-from-Frankensteinesque.

    Nobody in the French Foreign Legion? Some heartbreaker.

  6. Actually, he works for NOAA. I thought it was cool.

  7. […] The Long-Lost Friend Re-Discovered – Caitlin Kelly – Broadside … […]

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