Fifty years, but it feels like yesterday!

Mr. Richard Lorenc's picture

I went to a wake today to offer my condolences to three former childhood friends whose mother passed away.  We hadn’t seen each other since high school. Of course, none of them knew who I was at first.  And, I only recognized one of them.

Once we reintroduced ourselves, we immediately began telling stories about the “good old days.”  When I left the funeral parlor, it hit me that fifty years had gone by, our memories were clear and we communicated as if it were yesterday. 

How can this be?  Well, it’s funny how communication is episodic and how it serves as the foundation of relationships.  Whether we told stories about hitting a baseball through a school window and running like hell so we didn’t get caught, playing basketball in my driveway, or the misconception (ha) that I used to pull the younger girl’s hair during grammar school, time did not make us lose those special memories.

How are we able to recall instances in our lives from long ago, yet after sixty-five we can’t remember what we had for breakfast or why we walked into a room? Ha!  I guess it happens because interpersonal relationships with the kids from the old neighborhood or former school mates have a pronounced effect on who we are and how we identify ourselves. 

Yes, our self identities are shaped by certain people. According to Julie Wood, author of Communication Mosaics, “those people called “particular others”, are especially significant to us and shape how we see ourselves, mothers, fathers, siblings, peers, teachers and playmates.”  I guess this is why sharing stories about our childhood brought smiles to our faces, even at a wake.  So, we should take time to acknowledge and appreciate those special people in our lives.

Wait a minute, why am I writing this blog…?


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