I just returned from several days in New York, where I attended the 25th wedding anniversary celebration of my friends John and Chieko. Among the guests were a group of us who had made the trip from NY to Tokyo for their wedding 25 years ago. Also included were some other people I had not seen in a number of years, including my friend Walter, with whom I worked in Hong Kong for a year and a half before I spent two years in Nepal, India and Thailand. (I still remember Walter, who had arrived in Hong Kong some time before I did, picking me up at the airport to take me to my apartment and help me get settled there.)
At the anniversary lunch on Sunday, John played some clips from the wedding video. In a moment we went from “grown-ups” in our early fifties, with children ranging in age from fifteen to twenty-one, to young and fresh-looking kids not long out of law school, single or newly married, ready to face adventure and trying to determine who we would be in the world.
We shared memories of our youth and told stories of our children. And we laughed a lot. It was a beautiful day and the warm feeling of it remains.
At the end of the day, some drove south to New York City. Others drove north to New Hampshire. Others flew home to places ranging from Minnesota, Florida and Texas in the United States, to Germany and Austria in Europe.
But wherever we go, and whatever distance separates us physically, we carry a piece of each other in our hearts. We left hoping to see each other soon – and some we will see, others, not. But whether together physically or not, there is something special shared between us that is always present, and it is a beautiful thing.
I give thanks to God this day for those who have such a part of my life through the years.