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Friendships are Timeless

Story ID:6305
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
Year:2010
Person:Don
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Friendships are Timeless

I opened my email at work and saw a rare mail from a former co-worker and
friend from eastern Canada. Don Moase is one of those friends who emails twice a year,
at the most. The subject line read, “Will be in Caldwell tomorrow evening.” The email
was sent the night before, which meant they would be in town that night.

I opened the email in a hurry. I hadn’t seen Don and his wife Cathy in more than
fifteen years. They live in New Brunswick, Canada, more than thirty-two hundred miles
from Caldwell, Idaho. “What the heck are you doing in Idaho, Don?” I said out loud.

The body of the email gave no information at all. They would be in town and
staying at a motel close to my house and would like to get together for dinner. I sat and
stared at the screen. Don...in Idaho? Why? How?

I emailed and gave him my phone numbers. He called a few hours later. “Hey, old
man!” he said.

“Alright, Don. What’s up? Why the heck are you in Idaho? Your email gave no
information at all.”

He chuckled. “Oh, you know how it goes. Sometimes you get in the car and just
don’t know when to stop.”

“Don’t bull me, buddy!” I laughed at him.

“Alright! The truth is, Cathy and I decided on a trip across the country to visit our
son in British Columbia for my 60th birthday. We did it for my 50th and drove across
Canada. This time we decided to cross the USA. I got your phone number and address
from our mutual friend Jack Rose. I told him not to say anything. We wanted to surprise
you.”

“You booger! I’m thrilled and excited to see you and Cathy again.”

“Can you go to dinner tonight?”

“There’s nothing going to stop me. This is a real treat.”

I found out later, Ginny would not be able to join us. She had to work late. It
broke my heart. Only four people from my Canadian life have met Ginny. I’m always
thrilled to show off my beautiful bride.

After work, I drove to the motel where Don and Cathy were to spend the night
and called their room from the front desk. “We’re in room 204. Come on down.” Don
said.

I walked down the hall. A grey haired and grey bearded man stepped into the hall.
“Don?”

“Hey, Sonny!” He smiled.

I hadn’t heard him say, “Sonny” to me in so long. “Where’d all that grey come
from?”

“It’s called age, Sonny!”

“You should play Santa. You’re perfect for it.”

We shook hands and went into their room. Cathy received a warm hug. We
chatted over a drink. “Don, Ginny can’t make it tonight. She has to work late. If you
don’t mind, she only works a few miles away, I’d like to take you to her office. There’s
no way I am going to let you pass through here without meeting the woman who brought
light into the life of darkness I lived after Georgia died.”

“We’d love to!” Cathy said.

After a pleasant visit with Ginny, we went to dinner and caught up on old times.
We chatted about our lives today and those we both worked with years ago – those both
still with us and those who sadly passed on. No one would know we hadn’t seen each
other in more than fifteen years.

We said goodbyes back at the motel. I hugged Cathy. Don held out his hand. “No
you don’t, Don! You get a hug too!” I held him tight. “Thanks for coming. This was a
true pleasure. Just the fact that you made a detour on your trip to surprise me is
unbelievable.” I gave them both a second hug. “Thank you!”

I felt a tear run down my cheek on the way home. We live a long way apart.
There’s a strong chance we’ll never see each other again, but one thing was clear to me,
true friendships are timeless. Thanks for the lesson, Don.

Michael T. Smith