Reach Out, You Might Find Out

bellstreetpress.com Autobiography, Bell Street Press, Contribution, Sharing 12 Comments

Do you often wonder what happened to that person that was so important in your life when you were 8, or 11, or 13, or 17?

I do.

I was disturbed a few weeks ago. I had been somewhat looking for an old friend I had gone from Cub Scouts to college with and had lost contact with him. I casually asked a mutual friend about him and in a few days I got an email that my friend had died. Last year. Everything I wanted to ask him and tell him is now locked up inside of me. He moved to the other side of the country with no forwarding address, yet I feel I have ownership in not communicating before he died. He was only 64.

I still have my oldest friend, my sister, Mary. We are twelve months and 18 days apart on our journey on this planet. She has always been, and will remain, so close to me. I am also so fortunate to call my sister, Jane and my brother Herb my closest friends. So many families have fractures that cause issues between siblings. Not in my life.

I met Clarke when we were 7ish. We have been Lewis & Clarke ever since. His family moved away when we were 12 or 13, but we have maintained communication and a wonderful bond our entire lives.

I was 13 when my father committed suicide. My mother decided I needed the Jesuits to guide me through high school, so I left all of my friends from junior high and went to Bellarmine in San Jose. My best friend at the time was literally dumped. Not by my choice, but by how stuff happens when you are 14 and go to different schools. You don’t associate any more. Back then the parents didn’t have a clue.

I am very excited to say that my friend from junior high and I are going to reunite in February. It will be interesting to share the 50 some years we have not shared. He went to Vietnam. I didn’t. He has no children that I know of. I have a son that is a surgeon.

If you ask how this came about, I reached out to him.

I had a friend reach out to me a couple of years ago because her father was dying of cancer, and she saw my history with cancer. We have almost 50 years to catch up on, too.

I am deeply into genealogy and have traced my family back well over 25 generations, but I have no clue about the kids I had lunch with at school for years and years.

You may be some of them. If you were, do me the honor of getting back to me and sharing your story.

And if you have come along later in my life, shoot me an email, tell me your updates.

Life and survival is all about connecting and sharing.

Who do you wonder about?

Reach out. You might find out.

Comments 12

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  1. Wonderful article, Lew! And such great advice. Since high school, I had been in touch with a fellow, who had asked me out on several occasions. I was dating someone else who happened to be away at college, and Brian always asked me out for weekends that Chuck was in town. (Tells you what kind of girlfriend I was ….) After graduation, we wrote to each other while we were in college — probably for about a year — and then lost touch. But we kept resurfacing in each other’s lives after that. He worked for an airline as a flight attendant, so traveled a lot. Just before moving to NC, my VA high school had its 40th reunion in August 2006, and, yes, I wanted Brian to be there. I did a Google search for him, and the night of the pizza party at the school, I called him. Reached only an answering machine, so I left a message. No reply. After we moved in September, I tried again. This time a fellow answered, but it was not Brian — didn’t know him, had that phone number for awhile. Doomed but not daunted! Another Google search, this time yielding an obituary for Brian’s dad and listing the names of the children. I found contact info for one of his sisters who is a doctor, sent her an email explaining that it was NOT spam, and asked her to forward my email to Brian — if, indeed, he was the Brian H. who graduated from O’Connell HS in 1966. PAY DIRT! He sent me an email with his phone number, and I called him immediately. We’ve been in touch since then (actually lost contact with him again) with the help of Karen, a fellow classmate who was also on the Stage Crew with him. Thank goodness for Facebook since she and I became friends through FB. Now when Brian and I are traveling, we send each other a postcard from wherever we happen to be exploring. And this September/October, our HS is having it’s 50th reunion. YES, I hope Brian will be there and that I don’t reach some random phone number while calling from another pizza party.

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  2. Great article Lew.
    Just last year I reconnected with my cousin, Gerard, whom I hadn’t talked to for over 40 years as we had lost contact info on each other.
    It has been a blast talking about growing up in our younger years on a farm/ranch enviroment.
    We now talk at least 1-2 times a month and planning to get together soon.
    As always Lew keep safe and keep on writing – love your articles.

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  3. Love and appreciate the shout out to connect and reconnect and really looking forward to your epilogue after the reunion, Lew.

    Finally, proud and mutual feelings about our lifelong, best friendship.

    OX/Herb

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  4. What a great reminder and impetus to reach out — in my case to get over the fear of opening a door that leads to something unknown.

    What good and profound advice.

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      Thanks, Janet. Sometimes discovering the unknown leads to miraculous opportunities. I recommend opening the doors.

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