Tag: old friends

Old Friends and Change

This past weekend I went to the West Coast of Florida primarily to go to a old friend’s father’s memorial. My friend lives in Seattle, so I got to see him and catch up after probably ten years. Just as I got close to the church logged into my GPS, I noticed that I was down the street from Clearwater, where I know my Aunt Mary lives. The idea of visiting her came and went in the same minute, as I pulled into the church parking lot.

After the service, my buddy was rather inundated with family and taking care of his mother, so I suggested we meet up for breakfast the next morning—just us. He thought that was a good idea. As I was about to leave to go to Tampa where I would be staying, I decided to call my aunt to see if she were home. An answering machine answered the phone. I left a short message. Something deeper rose to the surface and said, “Just drive over there. She needs you!”

So, I put her address in my GPS, and off I went. Her home was only ten minutes away from the church. I drove up to a large condominium society for the elderly and began the tedious search for the address in an ocean of apartments. Soon, I drove up to her building. She sat on her front stoop, rocking in a lounge chair, staring out into the ether as if nothing were going on around her. Even as I walked up to her, this 97-year-old woman didn’t realize I was there to see her, despite speaking to her as I walked up. After I spoke her name louder a few more times, she stood up and hugged me. Politely, she said, after our embrace, “Now, excuse me, but who is your mother and father?”

After about five minutes, she began to digest that I was the long lost nephew she hadn’t seen in so many years—actually, since my father had passed away. She told me that she had had a brain operation, and her memory hadn’t come back yet. So, basically, my aunt was living in the present. Every time I told her something about the past, she looked at me in amazement and exclaimed, “Oh, I wish someone was here to hear this. This is the best day ever! I feel like I’m dreaming.”

I would affirm that I was no ghost. In fact, I was just as delighted to see her, as she was to see me. We had a beer together. I gave her one of my books and my cards with my new telephone number for evidence that I had been there. She made me sign the book. You would have thought I gave her a million dollars. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, simply being led by Spirit and living in the moment.

Just as I wrapped up our conversation, I got a text message from my friends in Tampa, and off I sped to my next destination for dinner. When I got to my other old friend’s house, she treated me like I was a member of her family. No time had passed since I saw her last, even though, we decided I hadn’t seen her for, at least, six year. I spent a lovely evening together, eating some great food, and watched an old movie. But mostly, we talked.

I write all this to say that as I have had a great chance the see the difference between new friends and old friends, as I just moved to a new place—absolutely nothing replaces someone who has been in your life for a long time—tried and true, loving and secure, trusting and as valuable as gold. When you find a friend who has these attributes, hold him or her close, as her or she is the greatest gift God can give you on earth.

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Chosen to show his new hypnotherapeutic techniques on The Learning Channel (TLC) and also given the opportunity to teach at the world conference for Learning, and received the award of excellence for Helping Overcome Obesity in Nashville, Bo Sebastian is the writer and director of Finding Authentic You and Uncommon Gay Spiritual Warrior. Go directly to Amazon/Amazon Kindle to buy any of his wonderfully inspired books: ]




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When the Past Greets You with a Warm, Familiar Smile

We’ve all had times in our lives when an old friend calls or visits. You can tell when the friendship was strong, because you feel as if no time had passed. All there is to catch up with is the news from the time you last met.

I’m feeling very fortunate today because my college roommate is coming to Nashville for a visit today. I haven’t seen him in over twenty-five years. During those years he has been married, had four children, divorced, and moved a couple times. Two of his children are in their twenties. When I see pictures of the children on Facebook, they remind me of my old friend and the days we were inseparable. People always thought we were dating because we hung out so much. But the truth was, I felt as if he knew me better than anyone in the world.

When you find a friend that close, it’s as if you are mirrors for each other in good and, sometimes, negative ways. Fortunately, for us, we never fought, which made the next phase of our friendship in the early nineties terribly painful.

After he got married, his wife took to intercepting my phone calls and letters. She even answered the phone a couple times and told me that my friend didn’t want to speak with me. After his divorce, I found him on Facebook. We began to chat almost every night. Finally, I got the courage to ask him what happened during the extended time of no communication.

To my complete surprise, he told me that he had no idea I had called or written all those years. The news about a friend’s dying message to him never reached him. The wife was so jealous of her husband’s attention and afraid of his past, that she took to controlling him and his life.

I went almost eighteen years believing that one of my dearest friends in the world didn’t want to speak to me anymore. I waited in the vast silence with despair and dismay as life took me to places that I wished I could share with him, but couldn’t.

I was angered by his ex-wife’s ploy, as was he. But, fortunately, the pain of the past is over and we have an opportunity to rebuild what really was never broken. So, I wait for dinner tonight with hope and expectation to see my old friend. We had funny things we would say to each other that only we understood. I look forward to greeting him with one of those secret messages. I know I’ll see a bright smile and lots of love on the other end.

I also had a couple friends, a married couple, who moved from New York City to Los Angeles In that time they had a couple children. These two people were two of the closest friends I had in New York. When they lived in New York, we talked at least twice a day, went to church together, travelled together, supported each other in every aspect of our lives. As you can imagine, when they moved, the amount of contact dwindled, as it often does. However, I was shocked to find out it had been three years since we had spoken, I no longer had their telephone numbers or address, and more importantly, their life now included two small children. Why hadn’t they reached out and told me?

All of that information together made me sad, because I had lost touch. I wondered if the reason they had let our friendship wane was because they were of the ilk of Christianity who believed that homosexuality was a sin. They had confronted me about it a couple times, but I had hoped that because they had family members and many friends who were gay, that this wasn’t the case. However, I let the thought about it fester for a long time, making me resist contacting.

Finally, however, I just began contacting mutual friends until I found their number and address. After which, I visited and felt as if all was well and no space or time had come between us. Their love for me never waned. In fact, as we all grew older, there was a new sense of respect for each other that was refreshing and joyous.

I’m thankful for old friends. I wish I had the moxie to stay in touch more with all of the ones who were very special. Facebook does give me the opportunity to stay connected. I am very grateful for these types of social media for making the world smaller and increasing the ability to reconnect with old friends.

The biggest point here, though, is to never stop believing in an old, loving relationship. You may not be able to contact, write, call, or even visit. Real love, however, doesn’t slip away. Season come and go with relationship. Sometimes we are close and sometimes distant. But true love never wanes.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

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