Since every one of us started to feel familiar enough with family members to form bonds of unconditional love and started going to school and making friends, we were all destined to eventually say goodbye, or see you later, one day.

Often lives together don’t last forever, but lifetimes worth of bonds last for as long as we’re alive and keep them alive.

You can agree with your best friend in elementary school that you’ll be friends til the end after a fight but in actuality, there’s probably going to be a whole new group of friends to come in high school, different colleges to attend and three state lines between the two of you when you grow up.

Who knew back then a website on a computer would be the only way you’d be able to keep up 30-something years later? Who knew life experiences could be more detrimental than knockdown drag outs with best friends you lived around in college?

Life gets in the way but if you don’t keep people in it, you’re going to lose them fast.

When you’re a certain age, a late Saturday night out with friends may be one of the biggest priorities but before you know it, a quiet Saturday night doing nothing is all you’re really working towards during the week.

There’s something every single one of us chases in life through the different life stages. It moves fast from trips down the toy aisle to after-game parties to concerts to paychecks to projects to being generous to someone else to making your legacy make a difference in the lives of others.

With every single stage, personal awakening, or passing fad, there will most likely be people you associate with that time in your life. Sometimes you can pick up on those paused connections like you never missed a beat and sometimes all you can do is think back to an awesome story about somebody life took away from you.

It’s really easy to tell an old friend that it’s been too long since you’ve seen each other but really tough to drive four and a half hours for a weekend visit. It’s really easy to tell somebody taking another job somewhere else to stay in touch but really tough to really do it months from that transition.

In my years, there have been some really good trips through the toy aisles and to concerts far away I’ll never forget. There’s no match, though, to the people I got to recreate a G.I Joe battle with and the people who can think back to a two-day Memphis in May weekend with ages ago.

All that was life as I knew it at some point, but a life of chasing goals and meeting personal expectations really gets in the way. I’ve said it a lot to other people that I miss my friends and all the laughing.

At least it’s easy to send a text or keep a weekly call schedule to stay in touch with people. Texting with a former next door neighbor about finally finding a certain kind of hot sauce you both liked 17 years ago means more than just a quick reminder of a great pizza night long gone. Texting with a classmate on a Sunday afternoon about how the bands we grew up with don’t put out the same caliber of music as they once did is more than just a reflection of our opinions.

These simple words exchanged are just ways we strive to keep people from the past in our lives.

From now until retiring from what motivates our daily lives, there’s no telling how many new faces and stages that life will throw our way. No matter what it holds, try everything you can to keep those special in it in close touch.

As much as whatever you’re chasing may sometimes stress you out, it’s the people just like that who help us get through it with a smile.

Ray Van Dusen is the managing editor of the Monroe Journal. He can be reached at

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