Everyone changes over time. The person we were when we turned twenty one is a far cry from the person we are when we turn thirty ... and even different still than the person we are when we turn forty.
If you take your high school yearbook out and look at the kids we were back then, you'll see a lot of young faces and bright smiles. Over the years some of us grew taller. Some grew gray. Most grew fatter. Most got married. Some have kids. Some have grand-kids. Some got sick. Some died.
Today on Facebook, one of my friends posted a picture of herself and her husband at Disney World. I knew him long before I knew her ... but only in a distant, "circle of friends" kind of way. He was always at our parties ... at weddings ... at gatherings. My best friend married his best friend ... and I invited him and his girlfriend (the woman who would eventually be his wife) to a wedding shower/pizza party/blowout at my apartment.
I have a picture on my headboard of him that I found a month or two ago. It's from that party. He looks silly. He looks happy. He looks drunk, if I'm being honest. He was tall ... and he was chunky ... and he was lovable.
That goofy picture ... that is how I remember him.
The picture his wife posted on Facebook took my breath away. He has stage four cancer and he is so thin. So terribly, terribly thin. He's smiling ... but all the pictures of him smiling now are different. They look ... forced. If you saw the picture from the party, he is ... smirking. That's how he smiled ... or at least it's how I remember him smiling back then.
I know I don't look anything like I did at that party. I'm fifty pounds heavier. I find the occasional white strand in my red hair. I don't look anything like the blurry-eyed girl who is hugging the stuffed, pink pig in the picture. J doesn't look anything like he did ... and hell ... K is gone. So I shouldn't hold my friend to any different standard. If there were a reunion, none of us would look the same.
But still ... it's hard not to be sad. For all of us.
'Cause you can't get on your feet
Going round and round
Still taking all the heat
Going round and round
Never touching down
The Cars - I'm Not The One