Who would have thought you could find the people who have made an impact on your life decades after the many leave-takings that are an inevitably sad part of it?
You go to school for a certain amount of time, and then you graduate. You work in a place for a while, making close friends, but then you move on to something else. Where you make new friends in a new place, before you again move on, and leave them.
Every life has loose threads of relationships. Some are best left alone. But others still have the power to enrich, even if just through fond memory. Like when you realize that special someone really did care about me — or, I really did have an impact on that life.
Of course, Facebook is a great professional tool, too, but its beauty is its ability to conquer time and space to unearth those people woven into the fabric of your life. We are all curious to see who’s around and what they’re doing, and then compare that with ourselves. Have we done as well? Do we have regrets?
In the last year or so, for example, I have been able to reconnect in a meaningful way with several family members I lost to divorce. I have also found childhood friends who followed their stars to distant places, old tennis friends, work friends in three states, and clients in two countries.
I have connected with high-school friends whose lives moved far afield, like mine, and others from my class I didn’t know so well then, but am friends with now, as adults.
Sometimes I forget that all my Facebook friends don’t know one another because each relationship has helped to shape my life’s eventual course. But for them, of course, the only common factor is me!
Among the poignant rediscoveries are a handful of connections from my grammar school. Up until 8th grade, life was miscrocosmic: a small home town where families in our circle all sent their kids to the same school and church. You felt like you belonged (even though sometimes you wished you didn’t).
But then I was shipped to high school out of town. My focus changed, and not long after I left the town for good. A yearning to reconnect with that place and time has been especially keen since my parents died. Through Facebook, I’ve been able to wrap my arms around my tender youth and fill some glaring holes in the story that has made me who I am.