He pulled up in the driveway, unannounced. His hair is grayer now, and his walk is stiff, but I remember when he was young…When we were young together. Our lives have taken many turns over the years, but I am always happy to catch up, to keep up with this old friend.
Our babies were babies together, in their home or ours. He and my husband, his first wife and I were young marrieds together. Our children fit together, six kids in seven years. We hustled them to church in the back of an old station wagon. Through VBS, Sunday School, and Church actives we grew together, and then apart. His first marriage ended, our friendship didn’t.
We walked together through the ups and downs of life. For decades, we’ve cheered each other on, stood together in hard times and in good. We prayed with him at the graveside as he said goodbye to his father, and he stood with us as we’ve said goodbye as well. There is so much that need not be spoken in this friendship. We’ve been to the same places and lived life together.
We celebrated his remarriage and marveled at their love and care for each other. We cried when we knew her time was short. We stood with them through the goodbye. And have watched him walk on without her.
We’ve shared meals, and quiet conversation, as well as great fun. Some of our best stories come from this friendship. We were young together, but we are not young anymore. He’s a grandfather, and we’ll be grandparents soon.
This summer, he walked our daughter and her new husband through the process of getting married. He met with them, prayed with them and loved them through their I Do’s. He has known her, her whole life. I cried when she told me she would ask him to marry her. I know he was thrilled to get to be there for them.
It takes a long time to grow an old friend like this. This is a friendship that is precious and rare. Someone who has known us since we were just barely married. Today, we celebrated that friendship, by taking time to listen, offering to pray, laughing together, and making room for a tear or two.
We caught up on life’s changes, the kids, the challenges of life. New stressors and the same old ones, new dreams as well as the old ones. Life is hard. We struggle and we move on, one step at a time. I’m glad to know that we have this old friend we can count on to share the journey.
This is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click here to follow along.