There are so many ways that we can meet people who eventually become part of our inner circle—work, school, neighbors, family introductions. We’ll take all those good relationships however we can get them!
While I always love to hear how people met and what drew them together, the ones that intrigue me the most are the meetings that seem to beat the odds—the “what was the chance of that crazy meeting happening?” stories.
That’s how I met two of my closest friends, Sherry and Irene. This post is about Sherry. For another story about how an unusual meeting blossomed into a close friendship, please read my post, Irene, My Train Friend.
Sherry and I met each other at work—she was the new person who was joining our team. She was 19 and I was 25. I had just gotten a promotion, and during her interview, Sherry was asked how she felt about “kind of” reporting to someone who was only 25. As Sherry tells it, “I thought, Only 25??” To a 19-year-old, 25 was pretty old:)
We were each other’s first friends in the adult working world—but even though the years have passed, Sherry has remained my much younger friend:)
I was given the job of taking Sherry around to meet everyone in the company. As we walked, we chatted, covering the basic topics of “Where did you come from?” and “What do you like to do for fun?”
When I told her that I had grown up in Windsor, CT, she responded, “Oh, Windsor? I used to live there, too.” That was really funny—we worked in Boston’s financial district—we had both come a long way from Windsor, and in addition to living in my home town, Sherry had moved a couple of other times.
“Now, that’s a coincidence,” I thought–not only did I really like this person, we had this little tidbit of life in common. “What street did you live on—do you remember?” I asked. “Oh yes—I remember both the street and the house,” Sherry replied.
Interestingly, it turned out to be the same street where my sister had lived—-and more interestingly, the location of the house was exactly the same.
With this stunning realization, I looked at Sherry and said, “You moved to New Jersey for your Dad’s job when you were six—he’s an engineer, and you have a younger brother.”
Sherry almost fell over. She looked at me incredulously, and said, “How do you know that?”
I replied, “Your parents sold that house to my sister…”
The house was my sister’s first house. She and my brother-in-law had bought it as newlyweds. My sister had been thrilled with the house’s design and its move-in condition, and called upon my Dad to take a look at it. My Dad’s expertise was housing, and he turned out to be quite impressed with the home’s quality. Delighted with my Dad’s thumbs up, my sister proceeded to tell us about how nice the sellers were, and about their young children.
The house happened to be Sherry’s Mom’s dream house. She had designed it, and though sad to leave, she could rest assured that her beloved home went into very appreciative and capable hands. We had many family gatherings there—and little did I know that the rooms that I sat in with my biological family had already been occupied by someone who would become like family to me.
And so it went. Sherry and I worked together at our original firm for two-and-a-half years, and then, I moved on. Not only did we stay in touch since then, though, we made sure that we got together for lunch or dinner every few weeks. Mike came to know that lunch with Sherry was not really a lunch, but an event that would last the entire afternoon. Our friendship grew deeper and broader over those meals, as we shared our stories, insights, and advice on raising children, and managing busy family lives and careers.
When I was growing up, the kids in my immediate family were all six years apart. As the youngest of both our immediate family and our cousins, I was always waiting for a younger brother or sister—and while I would’ve been happy with a younger brother, I really wanted a younger sister.
Sherry became that younger sister than I never had. We share a long history and a deep appreciation for each other. We “get” each other. When I’m out of perspective, I know she can reel (or “real”) me back in.
Our husbands get along well, too. But as I tell her, “Okay, we can get together as couples, but don’t forget—you’re my friend!”
Our friendship has weathered the miles between Boston and Florida. There are no more afternoon-long lunches, but there are lots of texts, phone calls, and a couple of visits. And best news of all, Sherry and her husband will be moving to FL within the next six months. They’ll still be 3-4 hours away—but now that is by car and not by plane.
Long lunches, again? Maybe—but this time, they’ll likely morph into dinner and an overnight. I guess that’s just what sister-friends do. In any case, both Mike and I can’t wait to have them here. Our countdown has begun:)
Until next time,