Yesterday, I attended a funeral for the elderly mother of one of my clients. By all accounts, the woman was a lovely person and the favorite of her many relatives. Everyone who spoke said she was the embodiment of love.
On my way of of the service, I noticed a man standing at the back and recognized him as a guy I shared an office with 20 years ago. After he left the agency (job abolished), we kept in contact for a few years. But, as so often happens, we drifted apart and I hadn't seen him or gotten any news about how he was doing for several years. Turns out that the lady whose funeral I attended was my friend's aunt . . his favorite "Auntie" too.
We hugged and talked a bit, and I offered him a ride home (he didn't want to go to the cemetary of such a cold, damp, depressing day). I showed him my sons' pictures, and we caught up on what had been going on in each others' lives. Like me, he is caring for his elderly, infirm mother. He is having his own significant health issues ("almost died" a few years ago!).
As I dropped him off, we agreed we should keep in touch , have supper some night . . whether we will is a question. Got me to thinking about the passage of time and all the people who go into and out of our lives. So many people I thought would be lifelong close friends, but it doesn't take long cease contact. Life and relationships are so fleeting.
Yes I often think about friends I had years ago- even back to my school days and wonder what's become of them. Since I've changed cities several times over the years I've lost track of most all of them. I've rediscovered a few- quite by accident on internet tech forums since people in the same profession tend to congregate in the same places but its never really the same- after exchanging a few emails about old times there doesn't seem to be anything else to talk about since we don't have much in common anymore.
And I think about how many people I knew who must be gone now- for years it seems I was always he young guy in the bunch so my colleagues were typically 10-20 years older- which means they are now all old retired guys in their 70s & 80s- if they are alive at all. I still find this hard to believe. I always think of people the way they were when I knew them- 30-some years ago. Its the same when I meet or see photos of distant relatives I haven't seen for many years. The kids I still think of as kids are now middle age adults with kids of their own. Life goes on.