You know how sometimes seeing other people happy completely fills you up with joy of your own?
I just had that experience on Wednesday night.
I made a lot of really good friends in college, and one of the main places that happened was through St. Stephen's, the Catholic Student Center at UNI. The first week I was at college as a freshman I went to the weekly Wednesday night Mass... my Aunt Janella worked at the Center, and as the time approached for Mass to begin she was a little panicked because the cantor and accompanist hadn't shown up.
So here I was, brand new to college and not knowing a soul... and cantoring the entire Mass a cappella. Thank goodness I didn't have much notice because I didn't have time to be nervous. If you're ever wondering how to meet people, I recommend standing up in front of them and singing... it worked for me.
It was obviously a quick indoctrination and many of the older students took me under their wing... and as years passed I did the same for others. There are so many people who have come in and out of my life because of our shared experiences at St. Stephen's, and I've noticed that even when I lose touch with some for a period of time, when I see them again nothing has changed.
Let me take that back... hair changes, marital status changes, the number of children they have changes... but their hearts are the same. My friend Doug (the one who taught me how to instant message) was in town for a conference and our friend Pam drove into town to meet up with him. And lucky me, they met at my house. :) I'm fortunate that quite a few of my friends from college ended up staying and raising their families here, so my good friend Jenny came with her kids as well and we had a little mini-reunion of sorts.
And it filled me up. All three are so happy, successful and wonderfully content with their families. And with all the changes in their lives they are still the funny, loving and kind people I knew. I am always amazed and so incredibly grateful that my life was filled with such quality friendships at such a young age.
I was going to take a photo of my old friends but my camera was in another room, and quite frankly it seemed like a lot of effort to go get it... so instead I'm posting a random photo of my friend Jenny's kids. Mainly because they were so completely well-behaved at my house while we adults were reminiscing that I want everyone to see what these angels look like. :)
This is Bailey (my gorgeous goddaughter), Ava and Jonah. Sweet, eh?
If you ever have the opportunity to get together with old friends, even if you think your lives are too different to have anything in common anymore, I just want to say DO IT. Take advantage of the moment. It will fill you up.