Missing Pieces

The other day, while thumbing through an old book, I came across a piece of paper that had the married name of an old college friend written on it.  I never would have remembered that married name because I always thought of my friend by her maiden name.  It made me wonder whatever happened to her and her husband.  I was in their wedding in 1968, and then I can’t remember anything more about them except they moved to Colorado.

So many people enter your life at different times.  They mean so much to you, and then your life changes and they are no longer a part of it.  It mades me sad, in a way.  I wish I could get them all together again, line them up in a row, and ask them what they’ve been doing for the past thirty or forty years.

Whatever happend to Karen who became an Eastern Airlines stewardess after college?  I used to visit her in New York City, where she was stationed between flights, when I would go into the city on business for my first job out of college.  Where is Judy now, Judy who could answer anyone’s phone on the 6th floor of McMahon Hall, in all twenty rooms, before the phone had rung three times and before any of us could jump off the bed or push our desk chairs back to answer it ourselves?  She knew everything about all forty of us, and I know nothing about her.

Most of all, whatever happened to David who had dared George to ask me out in the first place?  He had so many issues; is he even still alive?  I want to find him and say to him, “See what happened because you dared George to ask me out?  See what happiness you brought?”  Did David ever find any happiness of his own?

My dorm mates would kill me if they ever saw this photo. I'm all the way on the right, standing up and cradling Cynthia's head on my shoulder.

I still see so many of their faces, these people who were part of me for a certain time of my life.  It makes me feel incomplete, like something is missing, certain cells of my being have vanished with them.  They were important to me once, and I still smile when I think of them.  I wonder…do they ever think of me?

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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34 Responses to Missing Pieces

  1. I just loved reading your post! You’ve written it so beautifully. Each one of us go through this phase in life..your words say it all!

  2. Leah says:

    Great post. I’ve often wondered the same about old friends (especially the ones I cannot locate on Facebook). It would be neat if one of these old friends of yours read your blog and found you. Maybe someone is looking for you!

    • comingeast says:

      I never thought about them looking for me. I did find one on Facebook, but she never responded. Maybe she didn’t know who I am because of my last name. Or maybe she does!

  3. Huffygirl says:

    I’ve felt the same way at times. People come and go in our lives, and not all of them are meant to stay. They are there at the times we have them for a reason. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes when you meet them again later you wonder what you ever had in common. There’s a reason for class reunions, and there’s a reason we don’t have them every year too.

    • comingeast says:

      “Sometimes when you meet them again later you wonder what you ever had in common.” That made me smile. I’m sure we’d find a lot of that if we ever reconnected. Some of these people were close enough to be in my wedding and I in theirs, and we still lost touch.

  4. oldereyes says:

    Here I am, late catching up with you again. My list of people I wonder about is a lengthy one, particularly from my days at UConn. We moved out of state so quickly and to California a few years later, so all but the best of friends (Muri’s) I’ve lost touch with. I know many people who’ve contacted people from their past through Facebook, but I think my generation isn’t into FB like, for example, those ten years younger. And the truth is, I haven’t taken the time to really search, something I’m good at.

    • comingeast says:

      Thanks for catching up, Bud. I need to get on the stick with reading, too. Yes, I think there aren’t a lot of us our age who are Facebook people, plus the fact that I don’t know married names, only maiden.

  5. You struck a chord with so many of us readers with this one. And you’re right, Facebook only works somewhat in finding long-lost friends. We had good friends in our military days and lost contact with them when they went to Europe and we moved to the West Coast. I actually found them by searching for their grown son and emailed him. I was afraid he’d think I was some crazy stalker or psycho so I was relieved to hear back from him. He remembered me from his childhood and forwarded my message to his parents. It was great to hear from them and find they live a few hours away from us, so we arranged to meet for a day outing halfway between our homes. What a lovely time we had reconnecting! I hope you find some of those missing pieces in your life too. 🙂

  6. I thought I was the only one who had regrets about lost friends! I feel so much better. I thought I was just the worst friend in the world. Facebook has really helped though.

    • comingeast says:

      I only was able to find one friend on Facebook; the others are either not on it or go by their married names, which I don’t know. I’m, too, am glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I thought people would think I’m daft! Thanks, J to E.

  7. I love how you think. I wonder too. I shared with you about my BFF who married and moved to South Africa. Just the miles and no e-mail, fb or blogging made it difficult to bridge the miles. In the mid 90’s I called her mother who gave me her phone number…and I caught her on the phone half a world away. She answered the phone laughing…what a great way to start a conversation that had not been spoken by then 20 years. We met up at her parents’ in a different city from mine back in 2000. We exchanged cards and then there was e-mail. But then, it stopped in 2008. How much I think and wonder where she is. Great post!

    • comingeast says:

      Thanks, Georgette. I have such dear friends that did stay close, so I don’t have a driving need to connect with these old friends (except David; my husband and I would love to find David), but they were important once, and I would love to hear about their lives and families now.

  8. sliceofshanghai says:

    I moved so often before I got married. Like you, I lost contact with many friends. It’s like losing a best friend again and again. But it’s hard to re-connect after so many years. Recently I saw one of my friends’ info from Linkedin. That was 15 years ago when I lived in England. I am still hesitant whether I should contact him …
    Great story! You just gave me some idea on a future post.
    Jiawei

  9. I’m sure they must think of you.Who wouldn’t remember wonderful you?
    I have kept upwith a lot of my friends through facebook. Why don’t you try that? Or maybe you have.

  10. winsomebella says:

    I have reconnected with many high school and college friends through Facebook by finding Facebook pages for both alumni groups. Many women will include their maiden names before their married name on Facebook and once I found one or two that I recognized, I connected with many more with whom those two had already connected. It has been delightful. I have had a few real interactions and lots of other messages and short reconnections, and I’ve loved it.

    • comingeast says:

      I’ve tried Facebook but not the UConn alumni group. I’ll try that, but if they’re anything like me, they didn’t keep up. I’m glad you were able to reconnect with some of your friends, Winsomebella.

  11. Amy says:

    I have many “lost” friends too. When I exhausted searches, I thought if I could locate my favorite professor, I’d be able to find my best friend in college, but he passed away…

    • comingeast says:

      Thanks for commenting, Amy. I think I just want to know what happened to them; I don’t really need to reestablish friendships, but I’d like to know what direction their lives took.

  12. I re-connected with my best friend from grade school. We hadn’t seen each other since high school. I thought about her many times, and finally did a google search. I e-mailed her husband not knowing for sure: Is your Connie B, my Connie M? We were blood-sisters in first grade. Over the phone, from three states away, we talked for hours, like we were never apart.

    I recommend this to anyone. The worst that can happen is someone will think you a fool. Most of us have done that before. The best that can happen is smiles across the miles.

    • comingeast says:

      What a great story! Have you blogged about it? The trouble is, I don’t know their married names. I’ve tried to find them under their maiden names, but to no avail. I did just locate one on Facebook because I knew her married name, but I haven’t gotten a response yet (I just did the search about two hours ago!). She is Cynthia, the one whose head I am cradling in the picture. She was in my wedding.

  13. I often wonder the same thing. I went to a college on the west coast and have lost touch with two of my roommates and have no clue how to find them now that they’re married.

    Thankfully my closest friends from high school (and one who I met in kindergarten) still live close by and we talk all the time.

    • comingeast says:

      I’m like you. I have two best friends who I keep in close contact with and we visit each other several times a year. Still, it just makes you wonder where the others are because, at one time, you thought you’d stay in touch forever.

  14. judithhb says:

    Friends for a season, a reason or a lifetime. I have no friends from way back in school – guess many of them will have died by now and it is sad how we lose contact with important people in our lives. 🙂

    • comingeast says:

      You’re so right, Judith. We did have them for a season, and that was a really great time. It’s impossible to stay close with everyone through the years. You just wonder what happened to them sometimes.

  15. Shary Hover says:

    I’m lucky enough to still be close to my roommates. We don’t live near one another, but we get together as often as we can. I treasure those friendships and I think I’d be lost without them.

  16. Patti Ross says:

    I have those “lost” friends too. Not sure what to suggest in terms of how to resolve this problem. I have never been one to attend class reunions or do the search-for-friends online services/ads. Good luck. I think we could write a future for them!

  17. I wish I had the same college memories you do — very cool! Such good friends! Do you ever think of going onto Facebook and finding some of them, just for curiosity sake if not to get back in touch?

    • comingeast says:

      Yes, I tried, but I had two problems: I don’t know their married names, plus some of them had names that are common enough to give me a ton of possibilities. I have no idea where they are even living.

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