Over the last six weeks I’ve caught up with three old friends I had not spoken with in years. Talking over the phone with them brought me great joy! Rob and Jared and Zach were some of the first friends I made while working at Lentz Dining Hall with Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I began to work at the campus dining hall in February 2009. Zach and Jared and Rob were all freshmen at SIUC. I was the front door greeter and I was in love with my job.
For the first few weeks on this job, during my lunch break, I would sit alone. I was not for certain that the students I was greeting would want me to sit with them and I was a little shy. After about three weeks I decided to ask permission to join a table of students who were always friendly to me when I greeted them at my front door. I’d only been seated at this table for about five minutes when Jared joined the party with a large smile and said, “Jon! You’ve chosen to sit with us today? I feel so honored; I feel like we are now the coolest table in the room!” These words meant a great deal to me and I don’t think I ever sat alone during my lunch hour again even once during the next five years working at Lentz Dining Hall.
But back to the three friends I have named. These guys are wonderful human beings and excellent friends! The only reason I had not spoken to them in such a long time is because they all moved away from Carbondale after their graduations. In each separate call recently all of them told me how great it was to talk with me again. And we all decided we should stay in touch more often. This made and makes me happy.
The wonderful thing about authentic friendships is that two can go for a remarkably long time without communicating and when they do speak again all is just like it used to be in the friendship. I feel this way about these three friends who I had the joy and honor of being their doorman when they were in college.
Cheers to having friends! Cheers to being a good friend! Cheers to Rob and Jared and Zach! I’ll always be their friend.