I am not sure how the date - May 5 - slipped my mind.
Although 40 years have slipped by, the event is forever etched in my memory.
It was the day I was kidnapped.
Snatched from my bed at dawn. Bedspread, pillow and even my stuffed animal sleeping companion.
Instantly awaken and with my heart pounding, I flailed and tried to break loose. The kidnapper had a tight, unrelenting grip.
Even when the kidnapper climbed into the backseat of a car, I couldn’t wiggle free. The door slammed and the car sped off.
I concentrated, trying to follow the turns so I could figure out which direction we were going. But the driver drove in circles and I lost my bearings. We drove for what seemed like a half-hour.
I felt like I was suffocating.
I tried talking and reasoning with my captors, but I was met with silence.
And then someone snickered. And the kidnapper’s body shook with silent laughter. My fear receded. I concluded my abductors were friendly.
I took the opportunity to try to bust free, but the kidnapper held tight.
The car made a sudden stop. The door swung open and I was dumped out of the car onto the ground...the covers yanked free.
And there, surrounding me, were my closest friends from senior year. It was a kidnap breakfast in my honor!
Even today, when I think about the kidnapping, I get teary-eyed. I have never felt more loved by a group of friends than I did that morning.
Early during my senior year, a group of guys who called themselves the Haole Divers, allowed several of us gals to infiltrate their exclusive group. Saturdays were spent at various beaches on Oahu. While the guys would scuba dive, us gals would lay on the beach and keep an eye on their spare gear. Each member was given a water-related nickname. I still have my ‘Shrimpy Sharon’ baseball cap safely tucked away.
For the majority of my high school years, more than anything, I had wanted to be popular…to feel loved. In that early morning moment, that longing was fulfilled. I was surrounded by precious friends who loved me enough to plan such shenanigans!
I was the first of the group to leave Hawaii, only days after graduation. I was really sad when our military flight was changed and none of the gang was able to come to the airport to say goodbye. As I tearfully, and pitifully, waited all alone to board the plane, I looked up to see the entire gang hurrying towards me! I boarded the plane with fragrant leis around my neck, and my arms filled with cards and gifts. I cried the entire four-hour flight across the Pacific…and then the majority of the drive cross-country to Virginia.
Life took us in different directions. Scattered across the country, several of us stayed in touch regularly via snail mail for many years. (I still have those precious letters!) While contact was gradually lost with most, social media has allowed us to reconnect over the past years.
So tonight, as I flip through photos of days gone by, I feel warm and fuzzy. I smile at the memories and thank the Lord for the gift of friendship.
And all over again, I feel loved.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. ~ Proverbs 27:9