Unlike the many pen pals I had at that time (over twenty, believe it or not), my relationship with Sarah has withstood the test of time. Her letters were always my favorite. As geeks on the fringe throughout our school years, I think we shared a common bond and we were able to cope with the difficulties of being unpopular by pouring our hearts out on paper. It was safe because we never saw each other face-to-face. It was like writing in a diary, but knowing that someone else was reading who couldn’t use the information against you. We always seemed to have a lot to talk about–our letters were often twenty hand-written pages long!
In middle school, I wrote Sarah the following poem which was named simply after her. (Please remember that I was in like eighth grade when I wrote this!)
Every day I wait for the mail,
Hoping for a letter from my pal,
And if it arrives, I’m filled with delight,
But if it doesn’t, I’m sad and blight.
She’s interesting, kind, and sweet,
The type of person one would love to meet.
Her letters are long and very deep
Her insights are much like mine. [<–hey, where did the rhyme go?]
And in conclusion I’d like to say
That a letter from my pal brightens my day.
In fact, throughout the years, her letters have brightened my day. Even in this age of e-mail, Sarah and I have continued to communicate the “old fashioned” way because we relish the personal experience of having a physical letter to touch and feel. We do communicate by e-mail, but usually just for quick messages. In fact, you may have seen her comments posted on this blog, for she’s one of my regular readers.
Twenty years is a long time for people to maintain a relationship of any kind. Somehow we’ve done it, through marriages, divorce, widowhood, and one slight tiff. In all these years, we’ve never run out of things to talk about. Even though we’ve changed a lot, it still seems we have a lot of common interests — books, movies, skiing, our tree-hugging liberal tendencies.
In 2007, Sarah and her husband Shawn became the proud parents to a son they named Max. Though I know “nothing about raising no babies,” I’m excited reading about Sarah’s enthusiasm for her new life. It’s wonderful that we can now share the diversity of each other’s experiences, appreciating in each other the things that make us unique individuals. I think that both of us have leveled off from our many turbulent years and are finally finding a comfort within our own skins.
Sarah, Paperback Writer, I count you as one of my good friends and I’m so glad that I found your name in that friendship book so many years ago. Happy Birthday! Our idol, John Lennon, sang that life begins at 40; for you, I hope it begins that way at 33 (oops — hope you aren’t offended that I blasted your age to the world! =). So, here’s to the next twenty years which will probably be a lot different than the first twenty…