The first stop to my adventure was in NYC. I met up with a dear friend from college and we left late to have a good night on the town. Upon leaving the night began as this, "Do you care if we make a quick stop so I can see some of my friends?"
The rest of the evening was a whirlwind. These guys were not just friends. They were brothers by a lifestyle. These were the men who started their journeys together of discovering the love of cars and the love of the family it made them become. You know when you're "home" and as you drive to the grocery, or to your old job, or to your besties house, its like muscle memory. That's how it is when your with friendships that have arisen from a lifestyle. It's rare. But when its discovered, a love like they have can never, ever be broken; nor forgotten.
My next stop was in Boston.
I met up with a friend from work and her friends from college. They all met in Pittsburgh and were study buddies. Well as a group of three (there may have been more, i'm unsure), the other 2 became sweet on each other and fell in love. I love hearing love stories, but seeing them is something different. It's a constant display of hope that good things do happen in this world, and happiness can be found anywhere. Whether it be India, Boston, or a small borough in PA. It's a powerful friendship and a story none of them will forget.
After Boston, I moved on to Middletown/ Newport, Rhode Island.
Here was Andy and Pat. Mind you Andy and I's friendship in and of itself is quite unique, but we'll focus on these two instead. These guys didn't meet by way of passionate extra curriculars, or in school study sessions, but were childhood friends and grew up together. Moments after meeting Pat, I learned he just returned from studying abroad in Spain and Andy recently returned home from graduating college in Ohio. I could tell its been a while since the days when they hung out like they used to, but their humor and interests ran far deeper than what most "recent friendships" do. The best was when Pat would say something simple and Andy would just laugh, and laugh, and laugh, until we were all laughing to the point of tears for reasons with "no punch lines". Its the friendship where no words are needed.
Lastly, I stayed in Dighton, MA.
Here is the friendship between Sam and I. We're the friends that never had a solid relationship. We ran into each other at camp, then teens for Christ, then in college, then in college youth groups, then we worked together, or we'd see each other all over town. But her and I have been blessed with a friendship that has never required us to communicate regularly or see each other often. All we know is here and now. Its been 2 years since I've seen her and I love her the same as I did 2 years ago. Our conversations picked up exactly where they left off and I can open up to her and share secrets with her that I cannot even tell my closest of friends. We've learned to trust each other quickly, pray for each other strongly and listen like we may never hear again.
On my drive back to PA, I tried my hardest to recall every moment of my weekend. But what stood out the most was when I stepped back and viewed what I really saw. How privileged was I to not just experience beautiful and cultural places, but I was exposed to such a wide variety of friendships, yet in every place, was welcome with open arms as if I were one of them just the same.
These are the moments in life I will love to no end.