Some days are just too good to be true. Last Monday, my husband and I went to an Astros game with another couple, Gary & Pam. Many years ago (say 20), Gary and my husband and I all worked with the youth at our church. I believe I have posted about Gary before. Suffice to say, I was really looking forward to seeing both of them and catching up, as we determined it had been at least 3 years since our last fellowship together.
Man, so many stories involving that rascal Gary. 20 years later, I laugh so hard, I cry. He was a real practical joker back in the day, but without a doubt he had a heart of gold. Still does. He still qualifies as one of the good guys; he and Pam both. They are special.
Before we left for the game, I had an even bigger surprise when I got an email from Kenny. Kenny was one of the kids in the youth group "way back then." In fact, I worked in pretty close partnership with his Mom and also got to know his 2 younger brothers, Kris and Keith, from the youth ministry. Apparently, he still gets the church newsletter and saw my photo and email in it. He told me Tim and I still look the same ... smart kid!
Kenny is 33 and all grown up now, but I still have some very tender feelings for him. He was such a good, sweet, squeaky-clean kid (Kenny are you blushing?) I always thought he looked up to my husband as another father figure of sorts. He was very active with the youth until he graduated and went away to college, eventually moving out of the church's service area. We sold Kenny our Grand Prix, which he and his Dad endeavored to fix up. We sold another car to his brother, Kris, another kid I have really tender feelings for. I remember having some serious, heart to heart talks with Kris during some critical times in his faith. Darned if he didn't turn out great too! As for Keith, he came by the church from time to time in his 20s. I didn't know him as well because my husband and I had become less involved in youth ministry.
Their parents, Kenneth and Heidi, must surely look back, wipe the sweat from their brow and think, "Whew, we did it, and not half bad either!" They are a very close, loving family.
I wonder if that's how things will be with my kids 15 years from now. I wonder if they will have adults whom they run across who had a significant impact on their lives during these teenage years. I wonder if these adults will tell them, "You were a sweet kid!" I want that for my kids. I pray they will have it. I know it meant something to Kenny and Kris and Keith and others like them that I continue to have contact with today; and I'm certain it would have a profound impact on my kids, too.
Everyone should have the pleasure of reconnecting with those significant people in their lives on a regular basis. Sometimes we forget the profound impression, the impact others have had on us until our paths cross again. I took the liberty of inviting my family to Kenny's annual 4th of July celebration next year. I'm already looking forward to it!