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Cindy Maddera

Monday morning I woke up to a text from Chad telling me that Facebook was saying that we'd been friends for six years. "Happy Anniversary" he wrote. I laughed of course because Facebook is silly, but then I was a little shocked by the six years. I told him that couldn't be right, it had to have been longer than that. Chad looked it up. He had pictures from that day where we all met for dinner. He sent me one he'd taken of me and Chris. Tears pricked the corners of my eyes. How could these two people look so happy? That look on Chris's face as he's looking at me has been captured in pictures so many times, it's all I know. I know that Chris looked at me with love. The date of the picture was proof that I had known Chad for six years now.

I told Chad that it still seemed longer. I said that I would have thought we grew up together. In a way, we did. Chad was taking an epic road trip across the country. We all met for dinner as he made his way through Oklahoma. Me, Chris, Amy, Brian and Chad. He said that we ate like Mediterraneans that night. We did. It was a Mediterranean restaurant and we lingered over dinner for hours. Chris played the part of Rosco, a hitchhiker Chad had picked up along the way. It was a running joke that had started as soon as Chad had left Atlanta headed for his adventures west. The beauty of Chris posing with a toothpick in his mouth and his hair all mushed down on his forehead was that no one in Atlanta knew Chris. They all easily believed he was really the crazy hitchhiker Chad had picked up. We were kids then. Joking around, laughing, dreaming. We still lived like we were in college with hand-me-down furniture from friends and family. 

Not long after that though, we'd all have to start dealing with very grown-up things.  Chad would lose his mother to cancer. We'd buy houses and lawnmowers. Amy and Brian would divorce. Some of us would move to knew towns and start new jobs. Chris would get sick and die. We just managed to fit forty something years of life into six years, that's all. I don't know how we did it or how the connection was made, but Chad has really turned out to be like a brother or a first cousin. Or a twin separated at birth. Maybe it's a past life connection. I have no idea. I just know that when Chad and I are in the same room we can laugh at the most absurd and ridiculous thing. I noticed a few times during our visit over the summer that whenever this would happen, Jess and Michael would look at each other and shrug with an unspoken "I have no idea what they are laughing at." Honestly I think half the time Chad and I don't either. 

It is just another example of the relativity of time. These are the kinds of connections that  you hold dear.  So, here's to those six years on this Love Thursday.