It was another frantic day at the office when the soft buzzing of my cell phone inspired me to take a break. Digging ferociously through my new plum bag, I snatched it just in time to have missed all the excitement. Thank goodness a text scrolled across shortly after...because it was from none other than my dear friend, Shane Schulte!
Grinning in excitement and wondering which country this hero was in today, I read quickly and discovered he was literally blocks from work. Gathering my things and thinking to myself, "given his military status, he probably already knew where I worked and what time my calendar opened up" I was thrilled to hear he was interested in doing coffee for the mere 30 minutes I had left in my afternoon. Had I been able to clear my calendar for a year for this man, I would!
Within three minutes, he arrived at the front of building six, clearing items from his car that he claims to live out of when not on some secret agent mission across the lands. I was relieved to see he was exactly the same - from his glowing smile, warm heart, strong physique and overall authentic soul. Although three years lay between our last visit, we chatted as if no time had passed at all - the words falling freely from our mouths just as they were when we were inseparable buds in high school.
As we sat there talking, the memories came flooding back. The smell of fall in the air at football games, the broken hearts, the first loves, the never-ending friendships - a very large suitcase of goodness that I still carry in my heart. Understanding that no times will ever be quite like the magic of high school, I was relieved to know that a piece of that could all come back in the arms of an old friend. The feeling that cannot be described, replaced or even recreated - a plethora of blessings, all packed in a tiny box and completed with that bright pink bow. A package that will always sit perfectly under my tree of life.
As he pulled away, the moments, not long enough, I grew scared as always that this may be the last time I held him in my arms. But knowing the significance of his being, the goodness of his soul - I understood he was always carefully being watched. So as his military career advances him to the many places our hearts can never even fathom treading, I relish in this simple thing: hugging Shane. And I thought to myself - "these are the moments God wants us to hold on to." And forever...I will.
Miss you my friend! Love always!