March 2, 2009

Lost Friends

I recently joined Facebook. Well, that isn't exactly true. I joined over a year ago, but didn't become active until just this past week or so. My husband started on Facebook and that's what got me into being active.

When I started with Facebook, I began looking for people who had been important in my life, yet somehow drifted away. I found some of them, and others are still "missing".

I wasn't prepared for what I found, though. Most of those people who I thought were so important - well, they didn't all think the same of me.

There was S.C. (not using full names here...) who was one of my best friends for many years through high school and beyond. It had been more than 10 years since I last spoke to him. Based on that last conversation, I was more than a little concerned about his state of health. His absence was bothersome to me. I had no way of knowing where he was or if he was even still alive. Of course I had searched for him in other arenas, but never found him. Well - imagine my surprise when he barely remembered me or all the things we had done and all the fun we had running over imaginary cars in the parking lot at the mall. It was a bit heartbreaking to realize that I was not to him the same he was to me.

Then there was G.P., whom I had crushed on for more than a year back in high school. I never, ever told him about this massive crush because I just knew he would laugh at me. We were friends, though. We danced together at the Homecoming Dance one year, more than just one dance. I thought that represented some sort of possibilities... Well, when I connected to him through S.C., he had no idea who I was. He even emailed S.C. to find out who I was because he couldn't remember anything about me. Yeah - nothing at all. Of course, he said that he did remember after a bit of thinking - but secretly I think he was just saying that.

Then there is M.Y., who was an integral part of my life for many years. We were Kindergarten Sweethearts - and dated in high school for a few months. Then we went our separate ways. I found him on Facebook, too. He didn't forget me like some people did.

I also found S.D. on Facebook, one of those people from high school that I remember but never really got to know back then. She remembers me, and I remember her. We've started chatting about life way back then. It seems that she remembers me always being nice to her - and I remember her always being nice to me - even though we weren't in the same circle.

So all this finding started me thinking. If there are all these people out there that I remember and look for, there are probably people out there that remember me and look for me. Who are they, though? Who is out there from my past that I don't remember being such a big part of their lives? How many people are there that wonder where I am and where my life has taken me, and if they ever find me will I remember why they cared so much?

I'm sure that I am somebody's "G.P." Somebody out there thought enough of me to carry me in their memories, but I wouldn't recognize them today because I was oblivious to how much I mattered to them.

Or perhaps, like my S.C., we were close for a long time but then drifted in different directions.

Today I hope you take a moment to consider how you affect other people. You may not realize just how important you are in somebody's life, but you are. Somewhere out there, somebody is thinking about you and wondering where your life has taken you and if you would remember who they are should you ever reconnect.