They were friends long before I have ever met them.  Grade school blended their lives together.  Years have gone by but their contact still continues after decades have passed by.

Together they would race each other home after school.  Those foot races were part of the day children could still safely make the journey home without adult supervision.  These two girl friends took full advantage of that freedom.

Laughter, sharing and memories changed over the decades.  But, they kept in touch.  Weddings took place and the man in each of their lives began to share in those rich early days of grade school adventures.  Friends since they were eleven, the depth of life that bonded them is as fun as it is a precious memory. 

It was time for their 40th wedding anniversary.  Sacramento is a two-hour drive away.  The gala event was scheduled for a Saturday, my toughest day of the week.

But, for special occasions some like this event was worth making the journey.  Together, Yvonne and I drove those long hot miles.  She reminisced over the events that marked both of their lives. 

A story of their wedding would pop up.  Then, the events of their two children became part of the long talks on this distant drive.  Challenges in life were also a part of the adventure of life for them.

But, there was an uncanny connection between these two women.  I enjoyed every visit that we have had with them over the years.  Have you ever met people like that where you only have good things to say about lives that have intersected with yours?

We talked about a common faith as well.  When God graciously gives us the momentous treasure of friendship, it is especially precious when we know that our connection goes way beyond this life as well.  Eternity will greet us all and the friendship will continue.

Once at the church, we heard Yvonne’s name called.  A warm and long embrace was so appropriate.  We were escorted to the head table to dine with the guests of honor.

The talking started.  Food encouraged it to continue.  Memories through songs, pictures and testimonials filled in a picture full of life and love. 

That’s the kind of friendship to enjoy.  It is a friendship that lasts forever.  Congratulations, Tom and Debbie.  Thanks for the years of memories.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography