“Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on to. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”
- Baz Luhrmann
At this stage in the game I’ve had a lot of different friends appear in my life and be lost to time and circumstance. Many have fulfilled a reason, been for a season but very few will go the distance and last a lifetime. My buddy Matt is among my oldest friends and I can confidently say I will be his friend for the remainder of my life.
I met Matt in High School around the same time I met Andy and together the three of us were pretty much inseparable. We each had different interests and friends through sports, the arts, or clubs but at the core it was the three of us.
My life took an unexpected turn when I had to temporarily drop out of high school and run the family business. This meant I had very little time for social activities and so that I could graduate on time I transferred from Rockhurst HS to Ray-Pec for my senior year. Andy and I went to the same college in St Joseph and Matt went to Rockhurst University. None of us were dummies but Matt would qualify as the brains of the group.
We would all connect from time to time at Matt’s fraternity or a party off campus but I eventually found love (or arguably the other 4 letter “l” word) and moved in with my girlfriend losing touch with most of my friends. Eventually though I got my head on straight and tried to reconnect with mixed results. My significant other at the time wasn’t really the social type and this made it challenging.
In 2007 her and I split and I was a single dad. Obviously this was a bit of a challenge but one I fully embraced. Around this time Matt reached out to me through social media and I eagerly responded. He was living with some friends and had a regular girlfriend, Allison. Despite me having 3 little kids in tow he invited me to hang out and quickly bonded with them.
We were proud to attend his wedding to Allison and when I remarried along with Ana the 4 of hit it off right away. Now he has two awesome kids of his own and all our kids get along swimmingly. On a few occasions Matt has expressed his respect for me as a father which brings me great pride and I am happy to say I can confidently return the sentiment.
Our families connect for games, movies, geocaching and community on the regular. They are among the precious few we saw during the pandemic and we cherish our time with them. I am proud to call Matt a friend and look forward to the many shared experience that lay ahead of us.