The cake Lou brought to the party said, “this is life.” So it was, so it is and so it will be. One by one friends and colleagues from the past trickled into this rather impromptu reunion. Amid whoops, cheers, hugs and screams of “I’m so happy to see you,” memories of a time gone by seemed to have made time stand still.
I haven’t seen many of my ABC TV Action News colleagues in twenty five years. Yet, it felt like it was yesterday. That’s the power of special relationships. It was a special time with special people who we called our work family. Many unique friendships develop in workplaces but ours was different.
Not only did we have a front seat to the biggest stories of the day, but we grew up together. As someone at the reunion joked, management hired a bunch of twenty somethings and gave us the key to the city. What were they thinking?
We met Presidents, celebrities, went to Superbowls and World Series, covered wars, blizzards and devastating hurricanes. Most importantly, we shared the stories of everyday people from so many walks of life that shaped who we became as adults.
But that’s not what made our Action News family and our time together so special. It was spending hours, days and weeks together under difficult circumstances. Many of us traveled for hours on end inside news vans where we privately shared confidences only with each other. We spent days talking and getting to know each other as hours dragged on at murder scene
s stakeouts and jury deliberations. We shared life’s glory and tragedies with communities and each other.
During those times, we got to know each other in a way most colleagues don’t. We raised our children together, celebrated life’s moments and weathered each other’s ups and downs. Like a close knit family, we were always there for each other.
In this reunion house for a few short hours, that feeling resurfaced as if time has never passed. It all came about because a beloved Action News producer recently died. Even those of us who hadn’t seen him in years felt a tear in our hearts that we know is beyond repair. Knowing time will eventually rob all of us of each other, someone suggested let’s get together while we still can. That’s how this night came about.
I spent twelve years at Action News. That’s nothing compared to colleagues who are entering their fourth or fifth decade there. But those twelve years are embedded in my soul. Not everything was perfect, far from it, but what is?
Like bees in a hive, somehow on this summer night, we all found our way back to these memorable people in a past life and were reminded how lucky we were to have shared that time together.
I am not someone who longs for the past. I am blessed with a wonderful family and a plethora of great friends. My life is full. But on this night, I found myself missing these people. Being with them was like finding your way back to a house you grew up in that you just haven’t thought about in a while. Yet, once the doors open and you step inside, the welcoming feeling returns, and you know you’re home.