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A couple days ago my friend Susan posted this photo on Facebook.
And it all gets me wondering why these connections are so powerful and so joyful when they happen. I think it is partly because you finally get the whole story—a life that you glimpsed years before, a person who you loved and fervently wished the best for. What did they do? Where have they been? Were they happy? Are they happy? Did their life happen like you imagined? (almost never)
The other, more selfish part of it is that these connections allow you to connect with yourself—a younger self, a different self, someone we may have nearly lost just as we nearly lost those friends. Those connections, in some way, confirm your past and where you've been. Sadly, I can count only three people still alive (all relatives), who have known me for my entire life. Then comes Kathleen and her mother, Priscilla (also a Facebook friend), who came into our lives before I remember. Then my sister and brother. Without these people my memories would be quite lonely, solitary things, shared with no one. My friends Paula and Lea (also a recent Facebook friend) make real my early school years. They were there. We are each others' witnesses. And those college friends—well, we shared some amazing history both global and personal in those 4 short years.