“What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget. So it’s the laughter, we will remember.” – Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
I received a phone call yesterday from a childhood friend. It has been decades since we’ve spoken. He is my “big brother” from my youth. We spent most of our time talking about the here and now; our lives as they are today. We didn’t reminisce about any “do you remember when” events but we did talk about the past. And he wondered if we only have fond memories of childhood activities because of the passage of time. Why are difficulties and struggles colored by nostalgia? Did time paint them over?
The most traumatic event of my childhood was the death of my friend’s sister when we were in the eighth grade. I learned of her death over the loud speakers at school, though there had been rumors all day long. I will never forget the heart wrenching sobs as I sat in that classroom and heard those words. My classmates tried to console me, and it was even suggested that someone call my parents so they could pick me up from school. I stayed, and took the bus home only to be met by my mother who had taken the day off from work because she knew that her children would need her.
Now I think about how our lives changed. Amy and I became closer friends. To this day she is my “sister” and we can talk for hours today even if we just talked yesterday. It is because of Nancy’s death that Amy took me to her brother’s Youth Group. And it was there that I met Seth and his younger brother. My world was changed forever. Many future life events are the result of meeting those two brothers and having them in my life during High School.
Today I look back on our time together; the fun we had as a group. I think about today and how blessed I am to have them in my life again. As Seth wrote me a few years back, some connections are meant to last. Yes, those memories are all warm and fuzzy, and colored by time. But that’s ok because we were given the gift of a forever friendship.
So it’s the laughter we will remember.
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