Thursday, April 17, 2008

That Was Then, This Is Now

My dad was career Army. So, I was raised as a military kid and moved quite a bit. The long duty tours were three years, others were shorter. I learned to appreciate new environments, seeing things I had never seen, and meeting new people. This is the foundation of my thirst for adventure, change and moving house more than the average bear.

One of the things that my childhood did not hold was friendships that lasted for more than a duty tour. Sure, we'd stay in touch for a while and write a few letters. But, then you are off to your new life and so are your old friends. You might hold your memories close and pull them out (along with photos) from time to time, but the connections fade.

While the internet has made it easier to find those long lost friends, I have learned that many of those delinquent friends (yep, we were a handful for our parents) just aren't connected via technology. I'll leave the entertaining details out about some of the folks I have tracked down. Just trust me when I say it is the stuff of grocery store rags. You know the kind, The National Enquirer and the Star.

There are a handful of us that have not only survived, but are doing pretty darn well. I am lucky to count myself in that group and was very excited to reconnect with another such soul last week.

Becky and I became quick friends when I arrived to Hephzibah, GA (perhaps the armpit of Georgia) in1979. She was the kind person that reached out to the new kid and brought her into a very tight neighborhood group of kids. Becky was the calm force in the chaos of those early teenage years. The years of first broken hearts, climbing out of windows, rock music, walking everywhere, and figuring out who we were going to become.

Becky has not only become a wonderful person, but also an accomplished career army warrant officer. She has taught soldiers celestial navigation skills, delivered soldiers to R&R areas via her boat in times of conflict, and has found her place in history being the first female CW4 to skipper a boat in the US Army.

Our evening together was full of forgotten memories that came back to life like they happened just yesterday, laughter, and a new friendship that is developing based on who we are today.

Beckola - here's to who you were then, who you are now, and to creating more memories together!

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