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A twenty year search for a lost friend ended happily days ago.

I’m not a spiritual person these days. If anything I have aged into becoming very black and white about most things in life due to my journey. As kids we get very connected to our friends and often have “that one” we stick with throughout life if lucky. That was my friend.

We remained together after leaving high school. Her family owned a local business in our hometown where they worked and families would gather for coffee, a meal, or just to say hello to each other. Her father, the owner, was well known and loved. The kind of person who made strangers instantly feel like a friend he’d known years.

She and I married our spouses. We had our children as young adults. We visited each other and our children played with each other. Life loves throwing curve balls at you during the game and somehow she and I just got busy and lost touch moving on with our lives. The next time I turned to look, it had been such a long time since we had gotten in touch I remember being ashamed of letting “us” and our friendship lapse, so I didn’t pick up the phone to call. I missed our sisterliness. That sense of just being together though apart felt empty.

Over the decades I tried finding her on and offline living out of state. Time went by, alot of life was lived and also lost but she was always on my mind. One year ago I happened across her father’s two year old obituary online. I sat staring at his photo. The emotions I felt are not explainable in words but the sadness aside, urgency with longing and a new determination sprouted. Our last encounter he had come up to me in a store as if we saw each other daily after many years, thrown an arm around me and said “have you called my daughter?” We just happened to be back in the area from out of state.

Sitting there looking at his aged but kind face he seemed to be saying it to me over again. At the bottom of the notice there was an email address the author had left, so I clicked on it and sent an email along with my condolences not sure as I did who it was going to. My name had changed, so I added my maiden name along with my now newly re-married one.

I rarely use email. I have more than one address for various instances but as a rule I call or text to keep in touch. I lost patience with emailing years ago. Had I not gotten into an older email account one evening last week looking for something my opportunity would have been lost forever when to my shock there was a reply to that condolence message, a reply one year later.

There she was.

I found out someone had just out of the blue forwarded to her my condolence message, she still has no idea who managed the webpage to begin with and thought it was gone. The last few days have been a tsunami of emotion and memories. We have been on the phone all night together after our loved ones have gone to bed evening to morning.

Crying, laughing…. more tears and laughter. Two little girl best friends, soulmates, reunited. We meet for the first time in just over 20 years next week but it’s like we were never apart. The most amazing twist of fate is the last five years we have unknowingly lived in adjoining towns in the same state, not the one we grew up in together.

When in your life you have that connection with a friend my advice to you is “never let go.”

Not ever.