by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside
Recently during my travels, I got to spend an evening with my absolute best friend from high school. We had both recently moved to our new high school, and on our first day of 9th grade, met on the school bus and were inseparable from that period on. You could find us together most weekends, and together we had many adventures, some which will not be repeated. We went to the same college together, but then grew apart when she got married and moved to another state.
We had not seen each other for about 30 years. (I have to blame our faulty memories as we cannot pinpoint the exact time we last saw each other.) But when we got together earlier this month, it was if we just picked up where we had left off. I would have recognized her anywhere, her voice sounded exactly the same. We spent the night reminiscing, laughing and sharing all that has happened in the past 30 years.
To be honest, I was planning on writing that we both look the same as we did in high school, that we had barely aged a bit. But, I cannot with a straight face say that is true, although I think we both look better than high school. It really was not my best time.
What is so interesting to me was hearing her talk about what I was like in high school. Much to my surprise I think I was very much the same person. If you had asked me I would have told you how much I had changed since high school, but clearly there are some parts of me that remain stubbornly true, no matter how much time has passed.
Our reunion was like a time capsule, buried somewhere for 30 years and then dug up and examined. There were things that I remembered that she had forgotten and vice versa. Walking through the memories was surprising, wonderful and affirming. Reconnecting with someone who knew (and still knows) me so well was comfortable and reaffirming. Even if that last time we saw each other was so many years ago – we know each other to the core.
You know that I can’t help but compare this experience to an endowment fund with a community foundation. Funds are meant to last in perpetuity (a little like those best friends who are always in your heart forever). Funds are also able to grow and evolve with the times, but always keep your original vision and plan for the charitable dollars.
Our role is to make sure we stay true to this. A community foundation is your partner to ensure your charitable hopes and dreams come true. In perpetuity. Just like a best friend.