“True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart.” Hellen Keller

My roommate and bestie in college was Anastasia Demetria Theohoratus Katapodos. Tasia! (Can you say, “Greek?”) Her parents came to the United States as refugees in 1954. Tasia is of the most fun-loving, difference-making, dear friend and awesome leader you will ever meet. But unfortunately, Tasia and I lost touch after and had not connected in 38 years.  (We will NOT make that mistake again.)

However, Tasia and I are Facebook friends. I posted to Tasia last September, “Guess where I will be in May?” She said, “Where?” I said, “Greece!” Tasia replied, “You are staying with me for a month!” (“What?!”)

I did not know that Tasia has a family home on the Greek island of Kefalonia that has been in her family for 7 generations.  Since her recent retirement, Tasia now spends her summers in Kefalonia and the rest of the year at her home in Atlanta.  So, in May, Tim and I boarded several planes to make it to the pristine and beautiful island of Kefalonia to spend several days with my college roomie and bestie.

Tasia and I picked up right where we left off 38 years ago as if no time had passed.  So much to catch up on!  I also met many of Tasia’s cousins on the island.  The relationships they have go back generations.  Tasia’s cousins showed us their bee keeping process, where they stomp the grapes to make wine, and where they press the olive oil. In this rural part of this Greek isle, they depend on one another.  (Let’s just say we had fresh honey and olive oil for every meal!)  As far as we could tell, Tasia was related to about everyone on the island. One older cousin, Dena, whose husband died quite a while ago, showed us the heart pillow that her husband gave her still prominently displayed on her bed.  Relationships remembered, cherished, and not forgotten.

We traveled to many of the Greek islands on our trip.  But the truly amazing part of the trip was the rekindling of this epic friendship.  That was the beautiful gift of this journey.

Friends are one of the greatest treasures in our lives. In fact, at the bottom of the weekly bulletin of my church in Charlotte was written every Sunday, “Life is all about Relationships.  Relationship with God.  And Relationship with one another.”  That has always been one of my lifelong values.

I hope this story of a relationship renewed will inspire you to reach out to dear friends you have not talked to in a long time and rekindle a relationship with a bestie from your past.  Let there be no doubt, Tasia and I plan to get together at least once every year going forward!

Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13