My brother and I had the wonderful experience of attending college at the same time and place. This meant that we shared many of the same friends while we were there. Rich was one of the earliest friendships we developed—he was a resident in the same freshman dorm as Phil, and I lived in the girls’ dorm right next door. He was fun and studious and up for adventure, just like us!
We became fast friends as freshmen. Then, in our senior year Rich started dating Lisa, who was fun, bubbly and smart to boot. When Rich and Lisa got married not long after we all graduated in 1989, Phil and I were there to witness and celebrate with them.
In the summer of 1994, while I was still in graduate school and Phil was living/working in Pittsburgh, we all gathered together for a day at my parents’ house to catch up. We had a lovely time, including this backyard barbecue. The next time I saw them was at my own wedding in 1997.
Since then we have stayed in touch (much more frequently now through the use of social media), and Rich and Lisa still mean so much to me. We knew each other back when we were all doing our best to figure out just who and what we wanted to be in the world, and those are the kinds of friendships that remain sweet in memory no matter how far the distance.
I took my title from this quote:
“Sweet is the memory of distant friends!
Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.”