I was a Girl Scout for longer than I generally care to admit. One of my favorite activities was building a fire and singing around the campfire on our camping trips. One song that most anyone who was ever a Girl Scout will remember goes something like this:

Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
And the other gold.

I had the opportunity recently to reconnect with two friends who were members of my Girl Scout troop through to the very end. Not only were we Girl Scouts together, but I would freely describe them as my two best friends from elementary school through high school. For many years, the three of us were inseparable.

They endured my impulsive antics with a tempered patience, half waiting to see what would come next, half hoping that whatever it was would not cause too much trouble. Together, we discussed the boys in our class that we liked (with code names to ensure ultimate secrecy), and employed primitive three-way calling to conduct subterfuge operations when on the phone with aforementioned boys (aka - one person listening in on another line in another room).

I was often overly sensitive and competitive as a kid and would get my feelings hurt over things that most kids my age wouldn't think about twice about. The fact that these two girls managed to stay friends with me for as long as they did says a lot about their character.

Once we entered high school, we began to find separate paths. Differing lunch schedules and dissimilar schedules caused the logistics of our daily communication to wane. They both became involved in band; I began participating on the swim team, in theatre, and on the newspaper staff. As our interests expanded, so did our circle of friends. I remember experiencing a level of jealousy about the new friends who seemed to take up so much of their time; however, I can't claim that I kept my schedule available for them all the time, either.

Ultimately, though, we remained friends. I would still refer to them as my best friends throughout the high school years.

College was different, though. We all went different ways. I became involved in a relationship with a man who didn't have time for my friends; therefore, I didn't have time for them. The emails grew fewer and fewer.

I once imagined that these two women would be in my wedding. By the time I finally got married, I hadn't spoken to either of them in almost ten years, other than the perfunctory conversations at each of the other's weddings.

About a month ago, I got a note card from one of them. She invited the two of us to get together for lunch and even set a date and time. We met and had a nice time catching up with each other.

I have to admit that I was kind of nervous about the meeting. I knew that we'd grown apart and had very separate lives over the past ten years. The person that I am now is very different from the person I was then. I was worried that we wouldn't have enough to talk about.

I know that on one level, our conversation wasn't the same as what it used to be. I can't say that we fell right into talking about old times, as though no time had passed at all. But, at the same time, it was wonderful to see my old friends and catch up on what had been going on in their lives. And, we set another date to get together for lunch again. I hope that we can work to rebuild and rekindle our friendships, because these two women have known me longer than anyone, and I miss having them in my life.

There is something to be said about cherishing old friends... I'm grateful to have a second chance to keep ahold of mine.

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