Monday, February 8, 2010

Yesterday is today is forever...ain't that the way it goes.

Not too long ago I came in contact on Facebook with a childhood friend. We've been emailing back and forth and it's been very interesting getting to know the man the young boy I knew has become. There are so many loose ends in our lives...friendships we lose track of, career changes, moves to different communities or even different countries. I dunno about you, but in my case I get to wondering, "If I'd only made this choice..." or "I wonder what ever happened to so-and-so..." Well, in David's case I stumbled across him when I was browsing thru my old hometown's alumni page for the town's one and only high school. When I saw his picture I thought, "Could this actually be little Davey?" of 6 brothers who grew up across the street from me in my childhood? So I sent him a message and sure enough, it was.

Facebook is a funny phenomenon. I have developed sort of a Love/Hate relationship with it. I love it because it has brought me in to contact with people I'd always regretted losing contact with. I hate it because, when I have it activated, it cuts in to the little bit of computer time I have on any given day and distracts me too much from other things I enjoy doing...such as blogging and trying to keep up on email. Currently it's deactivated -- I know, I know -- but once I need some information about any of my friends/family, I'll go back to it again. I wouldn't say it's addictive for me by any means but I find myself 'needing' it every now and then and that bugs me. Why, I don't know.

We never know what we'll learn about someone when we 'find' them again after decades of being away from our hometowns. I learned from David that one of his brothers who was my age died in a car accident back in the mid-80's. That was a shock. In my mind's eye his brother will always be forever 14. I learned David pursued the ministry. I learned he's recorded around 20 gospel albums and has published over 90 songs he's written and is to have a book published in the near future. I've learned that he's grown into an amazingly nice man. That he has a beautiful wife and kids and grandkids. For some reason, who he is today just suits who he was so many years ago.

You can't go back and relive the past, that's for sure. But sometimes you can go back and revisit it. Sometimes doors open that let us in and allow us to peek back at who we used to be. And sometimes that just feels good.


Wander to the Wayside said...

I have the same love-hate relationship with FB. Love being able to find people and keeping up with my nieces and nephews albeit on a superficial level...HATE that it's so stupid. Seriously: "Am tired", "took out trash", "you go girl", "glad it's Friday". And no one ever starts a CONVERSATION from a comment, or even a six word comment, "why are you so tired, Tommy?", "because I worked 60 hours this week to finish a project", "oh gosh, what was it about?", "about a study we did of the effects of sugar on a frog", WHATEVER. Anything would be better than that original statement just sitting there. And the so and so is friends with thing, twenty in a row, like I actually care. Sorry, but can you tell how much it irritates me? Come to think of it, it's not too much different from some of the comments left on blogs, is it? But I think you and I are in the minority in wanting to actually USE words to form sentences and paragraphs, to TALK about things!

I looked up my highschool 'friends' on their new website a few years back, and was saddened to see that some of the kids I'd wondered about over the years had actually died in the Vietnam War. It is disconcerting to find that someone you've assumed grew up in your mind hasn't been alive for the last 40 years!

Great post.

Wander to the Wayside said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynda said...

What a beautifully written piece! I know what you mean about FB, but overall, I like it. I have made many reconnections and it has been fruitful. Is there a ton of fluff? Yes, but that doesn't bother me... I can filter it out.

Mary Q said...

This entry made me think of a book you might like, Kris: Allison Winn Scotch's TIME OF MY LIFE. Check it out! (A little chick-litty, but fun to read.)

Linda said...

Thankfully I am not a fan of facebook, my children are addicted. I sometimes wonder what happened to various people and what they are doing though. David sounds certainly like someone who is very special.

Jeanie said...

I wish I had more contact with people from my past than I do. I moved a lot in my 20s and 30s and wish I had done a better job of keeping up with people. My few FB friends tend to be current friends, but I have found a few from the past. Always interesting, sometimes sad as you said, to find out what has happened in people's lives.

Anonymous said...

I'm not on facebook anymore. I loved it, then hated it. lol!!

I think the attraction of facebook is that everyone is one place iyswim.

I guess its like 'mini' blogging. I prefer catching up by mails :0)


Midlife Jobhunter said...

I shied away from Facebook thinking my kids should have someplace they can go. I also worry that it will be time consuming. My book reading is down so low due to blogging already. And then I wonder if I really want to get in touch with all these people from my past. Not certain I do. Those I wanted to, I have. Curiosity might drive me someday, but I think I'd rather just do it as lurker.

Anita said...

I'm beginning to use it more, but I don't seek people; I just wait until someone searches for me, which is difficult for people from my past cause I don't have my maiden name on fb - intentionallly. It is slowing the pace of people finding me.
Because, like you said,it IS time consuming...still good that its available.
Glad you found an old friend whose doing well.
I'm sorry that his brother passed.

bettyl said...

I only have an account because someone invited me to join. I have found my very first 'real' boyfriend from ##years ago! Until then, I never really wondered 'what if?' but I have come to realize that it doesn't matter.

Louise said...

FB? I feel ambivalent about it too. I spend far too much time trying to get people to talk to me on it! It's nice to know what became of those people though. Isn't it? I hope they feel the same way about us!