Saturday, December 19, 2009

An Early Christmas Gift

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with some old friends. And by old, I mean old old friends.

When Barry died, I went looking on facebook for some of his old army buddies, and only found two. Coincidentally, one of the guys that I found was a good friend of his when he was over there, and also was a witness in our wedding. On facebook I snooped at his friends list, and saw who his wife was and where she lived...well, I put two and two together, and raced to my phone book.

Want to know why? They live in the same town as me. Well, not officially, but they are in the next town over, which actually happens to be the next major street over from me. We live maybe 3 minutes apart. And you know how long they have lived there? almost 3 years. Three long years. We have lived here in the area since late 2005, and in this city for almost two years. So we have technically been "neighbors" for almost two years and never knew it.

Today we finally got the opportunity to get together. How bittersweet it was.

I heard the dog barking when they came in the yard, and raced out onto the porch to greet them. I said hello to his wife, and just beamed when I saw him. We gave each other the biggest hug. It has been 9 years since I have seen Aaron, the last time was when we left Germany. And then I cried and cried, and cried some more while we hugged hello.

I can't explain how great it was to see him. I felt like I had a tie to my past. Someone who can help me remember Barry, what our life was like back then. Aaron and I can tell some crazy stories about life back then (I lived in the barracks with all them for a few months before Barry and I got our apartment), and it was just so great to be able to relive that with someone who was actually there.

But at the same time, it was so sad for me to see Aaron and Shilo. When I found out they lived so close, my heart just dropped. To know that he could have come to Barry's funeral just made me feel sick to my stomach. To know that we lived so close for years, and now they're leaving in March :( I'll be honest, I feel like Barry is being taken away from me all over again because they're leaving. It's so hard to explain, but when you get such a reunion and a tie to your past like I did, then you don't want to let it go. But at least we will have facebook for after they leave, we can still keep in touch.

We were able to visit for an hour and a half, and remember all the crazy stories. Talk about people we knew from back then, all the fun stuff we did, and they did with Barry. He told stuff about our wedding day that I had forgotten. Do you know how wonderful it is to get someone else's perspective on that? It was the best feeling in the world. It was so healing to laugh

I have to thank Aaron and Shilo for coming over. I immensely enjoyed our visit, and I can't wait till we get together again. Aaron I don't think I can ever tell you how much it meant to me to see you. You are such a wonderful person, you were so kind and it made me feel great that you were so happy to see me. You are a tie to my past and I am so glad we know each other again.

When they left, I just had to cry and cry and cry again as we said goodbye. I don't even know why I was crying, but it was such an emotional visit. I am so glad I was able to do it.

Here's to Old and New friends! I love you all!!!

2 comments:

Crystal said...

Wow. Is life not the craziest thing? I am glad for your discovery! I bet you will have the best time while they are still your neighbors. It must have been awesome to be able to share with them.

It is heart-wrenching how the wounds can still be open by good things happening. You are amazing, Joanna. I wish only good things for you.

KrustyTheCat said...

THank you Crystal! I'm still emotional after the visit today. Seeing Aaron made it all come back to me, it was so emotional. But I had so much fun showing him pictures I had of him at Christmas of 99, and at our wedding. What a great time we had!