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Friends from our Childhoods

 
 
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 03:51 pm
Today,( late this afternoon actually) I was sent an e-mail from the wife of one of my childhood friends. Joel, my friend, who I hadnt seen or talked with for over 30 years, died this morning. Joel was a few years older than me and , as far as I know, was in perfect health, his wife said he worked out 4 days a week and had a very low body fat %. Obviously his genetics kicked in and obviated all that . His wife said that , just before he collapsed and died this AM, Joel said that he was thinking of me today and yesterday and he recalled how we used to get on each others parents nerves and get in trouble. He told his wife that we made a pact and that he wanted me to know that he remebered it after all these years. When I was reminded of the pact(Id completely forgotten ) I remembered clearly of what I was to do and got all teary eyed. It involves a thing I must do and I must attend his funeral and complete the "mission". (Seems Ive been doing some other final tasks this summer,)I dont like it , save for my brother in law whose task of scattering some of his ashes I considered a mission of love.
Back to my friend Joel,It appears to me that,
When we were kids, our friendships were stronger than our adult ones. As kids, We made oaths and pacts to each other and vowed to help each other out no matter what. These were oaths and pacts that, , in later lives , we transferred to our families, wives and kids exclusively and rarely allowed ourselves to get that close to acquaintances.

Apparently Joel is now going to hold me to this pact that was made sometime in our mid teens (About the same time that our friendshipp attachements began to cool off). Joel went to business school and did quite well as a CFO of a large company In the community in which he remained . I moved on and followed a different path. Yet, I feel the pull of the old friendship and , today, I feel the strength of , but, the pacts , some silly and others more adult in scope than when they were made.

Like Sam McGee, Ive got another task involving the Dead . I suppose that its only going to matter to me and to Joels wife and his grown sons but "a promise made is a debt unpaid" as RS said. Had I known this was gonna be stuck to me and called in after all these years, I wouldnt have made it in the first place.

Im gonna have to scare up a DVD of "Stand By Me" and watch it, as that story was more a story of forgotten pacts and coming of age during a certain time than it was a typical Stephen King short story.

Has anybody kept up connections with friends of your childhood or youth? Do you remember the pacts and oaths that you swore to each other that, even under pain of death you would honor
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Type: Discussion • Score: 22 • Views: 5,084 • Replies: 93

 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 03:57 pm
@farmerman,
I'm sorry you're being pulled into something that you'd rather not do, FM.

I've reconnected with some of my childhood friends from Brattleboro through Facebook. My eldest sister has tracked down every family in our old neighborhood and has put us all in contact with each other. I was 12 when we moved to Burlington so I don't have too many bonds there. I've also reconnected with my BFF from my middle school - high school years. We'd stayed in touch intermittently throughout the years and have also reconnected on FB.

No oaths or pacts that I recall though.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 04:07 pm
@JPB,
A couple of reasons Ive stayed awy from FAcebook include
1 business

2Im a bit afraid to reconvene with friends of the past. Ive had two marriages and had a series of "biker friends" and other people from my childhood and youth Id rather not want to be linked to again.

3Family doesnt need to hear about old baggage
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 04:18 pm
I never had close friends in those days. Hence, no pacts. But, I have some persons who are relations who hate my guts enough to try to ruin my life. I stay on facebook, because my children pass information there that I would otherwise miss out on. But, I put up every safeguard I could against the ones I've mentioned. I figure its a mere question of time before they break in on my privacy.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:31 pm
@edgarblythe,
I imagine, from some of the real insane characters here on A2K, that people from my past would not like to see me happy, and I am usually a happy guy. (I find the world is made of essentially 2 kind of people
1Those people who are always happy until something makes them sad, and then they get over it, deal with it, and go back to being happy

2Those people who are always sad until something makes them happy, and then THEY get over it, deal with it, and go back being sad again

Since I am of the former, I do get a little paranoid in how I wish to maintain my good spirits .
I find that both very religious people and conservative Republicans (not libertarians though, they are usually kinda happy) are of the second type.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:42 pm
For all our childhood pacts of friendship...

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:43 pm
I've kept some friends for a long long (gads I'm old) time, but others where I've been glad to let to go of - how shall I put this without being a cad - their needs. Back in the day, and I know this will come as a shock to a2k, I used to be quiet, even shy, usually thoughtful, the one who could try to put the issues of one of those long into the night discussions we used to have in the late sixties and seventies, into a succinct summary of how we agreed and differed. After which people went home feeling understood. Not that I always did that, but it happened. All very nice, but I could also be a sucker for listening to a friend's troubles with a boyfriend for way too many hours. There were only a couple of people, women, I really wanted to get away from, mainly because I'd realized how every waking minute was about them, and their drama. Part of growing up, as farmer at least partly intimates.

Some of us have kept in touch, including an important family to me from my elementary school years, they more important to me - kind of reps for Norman Rockwell america though I didn't think of it that way at the time - and I last saw three of the girls, same family, that I played with, a couple of years ago. One now seventy..

I'm still in email conversations with two women from my university days (those are probably the most interesting emails to me), one guy I dated who turned out to be gay, and probably a half dozen people I worked with. I definitely still care about some of those people.

On the other hand, I have been found by the person I least would want to talk with. Aaack.

I mumble about joining facebook, probably will, given I can work out the privacy buttons. (I keep saying this and not doing it).

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:45 pm
@farmerman,
I'm a conservative Republican, but I will save my joy and happiness for Tuesday.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:53 pm
@roger,
IMHO Youre more a libertarian. You say things more aligned with Dave. AND , you often make well reasoned arguments. (Not that theres anything wrong with that)

whattya think of legalized maryjuana?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 06:09 pm
@farmerman,
Roger is more of an old school Republican, to me. If I thought him as insane as GW Bush, I would still like him, but would be much wary.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 06:11 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
... I was reminded of the pact(Id completely forgotten ) I remembered clearly of what I was to do and got all teary eyed. It involves a thing I must do and I must attend his funeral and complete the "mission". (Seems Ive been doing some other final tasks this summer,)I dont like it ...

... Apparently Joel is now going to hold me to this pact that was made sometime in our mid teens (About the same time that our friendshipp attachements began to cool off). Joel went to business school and did quite well as a CFO of a large company In the community in which he remained . I moved on and followed a different path. Yet, I feel the pull of the old friendship and , today, I feel the strength of , but, the pacts , some silly and others more adult in scope than when they were made.


I'm itching to know more about the nature of your pact with Joel, farmer (apart from attending his funeral). But I won't ask for details, because I figure that if you wanted to reveal them that you would have already done so. (So no pressure, OK? Smile )

But, yes, it's certainly a dilemma. I understand your mixed feelings. I mean, you'd feel a loyalty & a fondness for that period in your life when you two enjoyed such a close friendship. But, if what was agreed to in your pact is completely at odds with who you now are as an adult, what are you to do about this promise? Does it mean you're obliged to do certain things that you now find inappropriate, disagreeable, or offensive even?

I think it's a real shame that your childhood friend didn't contact you before he died. As your pact meant so much to him (obviously) I'm really surprised he didn't. It 's unfortunate that his wife (whom it sounds like you haven't ever met) has now contacted you, reminding you about your "obligations" under the pact. It would have been much nicer if you & your friend had had the opportunity to have talked about this before he died. And had the opportunity to talk about old times, too ...

I know you're not quite asking for "advice", but my inclination (if I found myself in the same boat as you) wouldn't be to do anything that struck me totally inappropriate (for me) as an adult. I'd be more likely to make contact with his family & express my sorrow at his untimely death & share a some stories about your teenage adventures with Joel... and I'd gently tell them that completing the "mission" is regretfully something you can't do now, because ...
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:16 pm
@farmerman,
The people I am avoiding believe in a scorched earth policy, when someone is out of favor with them. They would actually enjoy it if I lost the pleasant life I lead. Doubly so, if they could claim credit for it.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:21 pm
@edgarblythe,
Strangely enough, it's been the other way around for me.
The cousins & the aunt I was urged to avoid (because they were deemed to be so evil & awful) as a small child (ongoing family feud! Rolling Eyes ) I now seek out as an adult. We now get along very well.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:25 pm
@msolga,
My "feud" only began about two years ago, olga. I am afraid it is a jihad, to the bitter end.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:30 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
My "feud" only began about two years ago, olga. I am afraid it is a jihad, to the bitter end.

Ah what fun, edgar. Neutral
Sorry to hear it.
(I'm about 100% certain you didn't cause it.)

Ah I see. How very grim for you. :
Quote:
The people I am avoiding believe in a scorched earth policy, when someone is out of favor with them. They would actually enjoy it if I lost the pleasant life I lead. Doubly so, if they could claim credit for it.

edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:35 pm
@msolga,
I tried to mend fences from a spotty past. All it took to undo all my work were a couple of disagreements that could easily have been ironed out, or at least glossed over. It has reached a point of, even if they relented, which they will not, I could never trust them again.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:44 pm
@edgarblythe,
I think total surrender might be what's required of you to be allowed to return to the fold, edgar.
So stupid, so intolerant. (And life is way too short. )
Sigh.
I'm really sorry it's like this for you.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:45 pm
@msolga,
That's alright. I will get along fine without them.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:47 pm
@edgarblythe,
Sure, you will.
I don't doubt that.
But, you know ...! Sad
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 07:51 pm
@msolga,
I've learned how to shrug off life's disappointments, olga. Even if they succeeded in their actions, I would find a way to lose them and take up my life again.
 

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