LUCKY TO BE GROWING OLD WITH OLD FRIENDS

CATEGORY: COL Columns (Journal)

AUTHOR: CAW

LUCKY TO BE GROWING OLD WITH OLD FRIENDS

My milestone, the big four-oh, is just a couple of days away, and I’m actually looking forward to it – thanks to good friends.

Since last year, I’ve dreaded it and I’ve tried to attribute every ailment and problem to 40-itis. But the closer it comes, the more I’m just glad that it is coming.

It’s definitely a time of reflection. I’ve looked through old scrapbooks, photo albums, cards – all those memories that bring back the flood of emotions, happy and sad.

And the one recurring thought I’ve had is just how lucky I am to have very special friends. I work with some great folks – of course, we get on each other’s last nerve sometimes, but here at the paper we really are a big family.

And I’m especially blessed outside work with friends who’ve been there through the good times and the bad times and are still around.

One thing I’ve learned during this last year is just how important life is and how it must be lived to the fullest each day because we never know when that day might be our last. Or when someone we care about might no longer be there.

I’ve started appreciating little things, too, that I never seemed to have time for before. Everything seems to have taken on a different pace now – frantic has taken a backseat, you might say.

And as I think back to people who’ve been a part of the first 40 years of my life, I feel truly blessed. I recently heard a gospel song about old friends and those words say it well.

“Old friends, after all of these years, just old friends.

Through laughter and tears, old friends.

What a find, what a priceless treasure.

“Old friends, like a rare piece of gold, my old friends.

Makes it great to grow old, old friends.

Through it all, I will hold to old friends.

“Now God must have known

that there’d be days on our own,

we would lose the will to keep trying to go on.

That’s why he sent friends like you along.

“Old friends, you’ve always been there, my old friends.

We’ve had more than our share, old friends.

I’m a rich millionaire in old friends.

“A phone call or a letter, or just a pat on the back,

or a I just dropped by to say …’

A hand when we’re down or a loan when we just couldn’t pay.

“A song or a story, a little rose from the florist,

or a special note that you just happened to send.

Somehow just out of the blue tell me you’re still my friend.

“Old friends, after all of these years, just old friends.

Through the laughter and tears, old friends.

What a prize, what a priceless treasure.

“Old friends, friends like a rare piece of gold.

Old friends, makes it great to grow old with old friends.

Through it all, through it all, I will hold to old friends.

“God’s always known

that some days on our own,

we’d lose the will to go on and

that’s why he sent friends like all of you along.

“Old friends, you’ve always been there, my old friends.

We’ve had more than our share, old friends.

We’re all millionaires in old friends.”

I’ve never considered myself a rich person, but I know now that I’m richer than I ever realized because of family and friends.

I guess with age comes some knowledge. It seems the first 40 years were the learning years – now I’m ready to enjoy the next 40-plus.

And to the friends I hope to enjoy those next 40-plus years with, I share this thought with you: “Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”

And that’s the best present anyone could receive.

Charlotte Wolfe is managing editor of the Daily Journal.

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