A Chance Meeting

By Joseph J. Mazzella • November 22, 2021

I had a chance meeting the other day. I was walking into a local convenience store when a voice called out to me. It was my friend, Rod. We had first met in kindergarten and he had been one of my best friends all through grade school, high school, and into college. Fun loving and free spirited, Rod had gotten me into trouble more than once growing up. He had also been a fountain of laugher and good cheer and my childhood had been so much better with him in it. He moved away to find work and it had been at least 30 years since I last saw him. Now we were talking, trying to catch up 3 decades in a few minutes. I also noticed something strange about him. He looked in a word: OLD.

Now truth be told he looked much better than me. He was thinner and fitter. He had fewer wrinkles. His hair was thicker and had a lot less gray than mine. But while I get to see my own daily deterioration in the mirror each morning my picture of Rod was stuck 30 years in the past. We said goodbye and wished each other well and I went home feeling both young and old at the same time. Part of me wondered where the last 30 years had gone and part of me remembered those joyous childhood memories like they were yesterday. It was very confusing.

Have you ever felt like you were just passing through this life? Have you ever felt so old in your body but so young in your soul? If you have then you can understand what I was feeling then. Part of me was a 55 year old man with grown children and part of me was a 5 year old boy laughing with my friend and staying awake during nap time at Kindergarten.

I think that chance meeting with Rod wasn’t quite so chance, after all. It was another little reminder from God to cherish each moment this life gives you and to love and laugh each and every day. Life goes by so fast here. You blink and 30 years have gone by. Still, I know there will be a time when we can spend eternity catching up with our family and friends. It will be in a place where no one grows old and the love, laughter, and light last forever. Until then I will do my best to stay young inside, to cherish each day, and to share my love with everyone. May you do the same.


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