It has been five years since I last met up with my childhood friends.
Two brothers. Me sandwiched in the middle by age.
It was at their mother's funeral.
Prior to that cold day in April, a handful of years had managed to slip away undetected.
We grew up. Went to college. Started new lives in far-away towns, which made it challenging -- or perhaps too convenient -- to foster the bonds of childhood that we thought just might endure without effort.
Recently a call with vague details from my own aging parents arrived: pancreatic cancer was setting in on their dad.
And so an email was sent. Voicemails exchanged. Then finally, a connection was made.
It was my childhood on the other line, now 42.
I realized just how much I had missed it.
We shared recent histories and slowly rewound our lives, the accumulated stories, working our way back toward shared experiences. 2 hours and 20 minutes worth according to my phone. It seemed as though hanging up would signal the inevitable. No more rewinding. Fast forward to the here and now, then push play. I can almost hear the tape hiss on the way to the end, that jarring and final -- click.
Once we were thick as thieves. Yet it is the thievery that brings us back together.