I have never been good at keeping in touch with people - at least not before the advent of email and instant messaging. When I left a place when I was younger that meant I left the people there as well - I may have gotten addresses, but I never used them. I didn't like being reminded of places I had been and could never go to again. I especially didn't like being reminded of places I didn't want to leave in the first place.
Unfortunately, that meant I left some really good friends behind and now, almost 30 years later, I would love to find those friends. Well, one friend in particular.
Her name is Sonja Paar and I knew her in Garmisch-Partinkirchen in 1980. I have no idea if she has married, she probably has but I would have no idea of what her married name would be. I don't even know if she is still in Garmisch. She was my Troops on Foreign Soil partner for Girl Scouts. I couldn't speak German, but she could speak English - I think her family had lived here in the States for a bit, Nashville maybe, so we were a perfect match.
We became friends through the program and had a bit of fun. The last time I saw her was right before we left Germany for the last time. Her mother brought her over for a good-bye. That day Sonja gave me a journal she had made for me with a picture of the two of us in the front and a poem which I think she wrote on across from it. The poem read:
Give your love to others. Don't spend on yourself.
Give your heart's good treasure. Don't hoard it on the shelf.
Give a word of comfort.
Give a helping hand.
Give where it is needed.
Try to understand.
I never wrote in the journal. I know she gave it to me to write my poems and stories, but I could never bring myself to sully the pages. Today I took out the pages with the picture of us and the poem before giving the book to my son for his stickers. I want to get him started with journals even if he isn't writing yet. (He's only 2...but a journal can start at any age.)
I would love to find Sonja again if only to find out what happened in her life and tell her about mine.
If anyone has any ideas how a non-German speaking long lost friend can find another in Bavaria, please let me know.
Or, if you are Sonja Paar - send me a line. Let's have tea like we did in Garmisch. :-)