lenten journal: finding a friend

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Ginger and I went to the movie the other afternoon and as we were coming out of the film I mentioned it reminded me of a friend from Fort Worth who was a minister at another church whom I used to call in the middle of the afternoon and get him to go to the movies with me. When I got in my car, I called him — after twenty years — and left a message. The next afternoon, he called back. Here’s one of the ways I have unpacked the experience.

finding a friend

I called an old friend this week
because I remembered him as
I came out of an afternoon movie
— after twenty years I called

to say I remembered him
trusting somehow the tethers
of friendship and forgiveness
had held strong in our silence

I was standing in the middle
of the grocery when he called
back  and found me among
the dried beans and mushrooms

he has grown children I have
never seen; he had to ask where
I live now — and yet when I heard
his voice I heard my friend

there is no way to make up
for all that was lost or missed . . .
but grace does not require
we keep score, does it?

choosing instead to celebrate —
beyond our failures and faults
and all the might have beens —
that we found each other

who knows what we will
make of this second chance
we have both spent years
and lives apart and away

and I am not aiming for
a greeting card moment;
I do want to say thanks
for finding what was lost

yes. thanks.

Peace,
Milton

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is interesting. I took a photo of my older daughter, this week, holding up a conversation heart that said “BFF.” I decided to post it on fb and tag all the people I could think of who had been a best friend to me at one point or another. I guess I tagged 40 people, but I’m almost 40 years old, and I started at birth. I even cheated, a little, and included my favorite relatives. I said all that to say: the exercise cheered me up a great deal, and some of the very people whom I haven’t seen for over half my life are just as real to me, today, as they were back then. I guess it’s all about the moment shared. I’m thankful to be in touch (even if only on fb) w/ my BFFs from elementary school, and I’m glad you called your friend. I’m not surprised he loves you, still.

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  2. Brandee,

    The feelings are a compelling mix of gratitude — for the lasting connection — and grief — for the time lost with each other. The good news is we are connected again.

    Peace
    Milton

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  3. This makes me miss our times in your house at Fort Worth cooking something and hanging out. I miss my old friend, Milton who was so dear to me during my high school years. I would love to drop by and have a cup of coffee and talk for hours. I smile with every blog and thankful that you keep writing so I get a small piece of you often. Miss you bunches.

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