Thank you to my one and only commenter! Glad to hear someone's reading this! And that I haven't bored you to death! I'm so busy I don't really get a chance to write very often (obviously!), but I hope you'll check in from time to time to catch up!
I got a Christmas card yesterday from Chris' parents. Mrs. T. invited Jack and me to visit next June or Thanksgiving, and mentioned that our holiday card (the first where I included a photo of the two of us) is hanging on their fridge, with "the rest of the family." I've met these people a handful of times in my life, but they are so very important to me. I always write "miss you" in the Christmas cards I send them, and it's true.
Chris is an integral part of my life, a friend I first met in November of FHP year, but who became my "BFF" on January 30, 1978. We began to spend time together - not time, TIME. We were together for hours on end, hanging in the College Center, just talking, just being with each other (when he wasn't with Lorna!). He is a smart, kind, thoughtful, considerate, funny man, and I'm proud to call him my friend.
There was a time I thought he might be more than a friend, but distance can sure put a whammy on that! On one of my visits, he got drunk and we made out on the front porch of the house where the party was being held. Looking back, that was strange! Fun, but strange! He was Chris, after all. Even though I thought I wanted that to happen, I was nervous. Then we went back to Tim's house and we "slept" together - literally. He passed out in the bed (drinking can do that to you!) and when he rolled over and his arm landed across my upper body, I froze. And that was the end of sleep for me! The first time I ever "slept" with a man, and I was SOOO nervous! And all we did was sleep!
Then he met his wife and they are happy. I can see it when I see them together. I visited them in 1992, while P and I were driving cross-country. I think "D" (Chris' wife) was a bit uncomfortable with my visit, but when she came this past October with Chris and their three boys, I truly felt as though that was gone. It was so nice to see him so happy with her. Their sons are TERRIFIC and C & D deserve kudos for being GREAT parents!
So... back to Chris... We spent all of second semester/freshman year together. When school was over, he wrote me a note and instructed me to read it when I got home. I cried all the way him from Delaware, sure that I would never see him again. ("Why are you crying? He's not crying 'cause he's not going to see you..." Thanks, Mom!!) His note (if only I could find that autograph book! Hopefully it's in Mom's attic.) said something along the lines of being my friend forever. It's 28 years later, and we still are!
He followed the harvest for a summer, and we wrote back and forth. It's funny, but I can still go days, weeks, months without thinking of him, then all of a sudden, I'll think of him, and he'll call. He'll pop back into my life with a phone call or a letter. We've always been "connected" that way!
He came to visit two or three years later, while I was in the Park Place apartment, then again for our FHP reunion. That was cool - the rest of the class was amazed that we were sharing a room in Christiana Towers - "you and Chris???!!!" Yup.
In between, my college graduation present from Mom and Dad was a plane ticket to visit Chris in Missouri ("Are you sure you don't want a watch, or something?"). I spent a week or so out there - had a wonderful time! Spent time with Mr. and Mrs. T. Met Gail and her family, Tim and his. Met Grandma Franklin - what a wonderful lady, may she rest in peace.
Then I flew out there for Chris' wedding, spent some time with the family again. One of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me was Mr. T's comment that he wished I was going to be his daughter-in-law. I know they love D, but it was nice to hear how much they loved me, too!
In 1999, Chris and D flew out here for our wedding (at that point, I really didn't speak with her too much, I'm sorry to say), and then this past October, their whole family came to NYC for vacation, and spent a couple of evenings with us. (Thanks, guys!)
Chris is so much a part of my past, and my present, and hopefully we'll stay friends forever. It's the kind of relationship where we email back and forth a few times, every 4-6 months or so, and we talk on the phone maybe once or twice a year. But always, always, we are friends. There's no awkwardness, no lack of things to talk about... We're friends. And that's nice.
I'm proud of the fact that there are a few people in my life that have been there for what seems like forever. People who played different roles in making me who I am today. People who still mean the world to me, and to whom I am eternally grateful for being part in my life.