During this pandemic, most of us have had to face really being alone. It causes us to reach deep inside, and perhaps deal with a few dark places, and people that we never really had a chance to reconcile with. We find ourselves looking at situations with a bit more empathy and compassion, and many of us have had a chance to let go. We clear out the cobwebs of our mind and heart, a bit like sweeping out an old dusty corner.

Recently, I had the opportunity to do some soul-searching, and while I often miss my old friends, I never really thought of reaching out to them, always keeping them in prayer, but still wanting, maybe needing a chance to set things right, perhaps closure on a grievance. Having known the sour taste of things gone awry, I decided to reach out to tidy up a bit. It is interesting when you realize that by chance they were in the very same place and were waiting for an opportunity to speak to you.

Let’s face it: with everything still pretty much on lockdown in most states, we have plenty of time to reconnect those ties of old friends and perhaps let bygones be bygones. Whatever petty disagreements one has, maybe, just maybe we can put aside and try to rekindle what was once something worthwhile, even if it is from far away. At this point every connection counts. It isn’t easy, one has to swallow their pride a bit, and truly extend a hand, but it is possible and perhaps salvaging remnants is better than sitting in solitude alone, better to sit even virtually with a few laughs over the phone or via text and there is always zoom for those who choose to connect on a bit of a deeper level.

What I learned is that friendships are valuable, even those that might be a little bumpy and that sharing values, opinions, and accepting one another is part of the friendship experience. While we might not always agree, we can agree to disagree and that it is okay. It doesn’t hurt a long-established friendship to express yourself, whatever it might be and it is acceptable to let the chips fall without repercussion. It feels good to pick up where we left off. I learned the value of letting time pass and the saying of its water under the bridge. Maybe, I just grew up a little.

One letter, a few words, an explanation for my silence was really all it took to restart a chain of friendship again. The link really never was broken, it was waiting for the right moment. Unexpected, yes, but I took a deep breath and plunged in.

Friendships are important, maybe this pandemic made us realize just how much they matter.

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