That was Crossroads.
I spent 13 weeks with these people and they became one of the most important groups of people in my life. We left each other after the summer and I thought, "Will I ever see them again?" I was pleasantly surprised that, over the last 16 months, all 9 of us have skyped together multiple times, I've texted everyone, we've exchanged emails. I was blessed to see Stephanie at school for a semester, Kirstin for coffee dates at home, Josh in London, Austria, and Notre Dame, and Zechariah for a day in DC.
Last July, 5 of us were talking and decided a reunion was in order. Gradually, plans came together.
These last two weeks have been the fruit of that conversation. 9 of us gathered at my house, traveling as little as 45 minutes and as much as 58 hours (Amanda, you're a rock star!).
We have all changed since we said goodbye in August of 2012. We've grown, faced challenges, traveled, graduated, started jobs, realized limitations, and learned virtue. We've become better and fuller versions of the young adults who showed up in Seattle on May 16, 2012. And yet, at the same time, we're each the same person as before. We have many of the same likes and dislikes as before, we know what makes the others laugh and cry, we know each others' passions and goals.
Over the last week, we were all updated about everything that's happened since we last saw each other. We looked at previously unseen videos and pictures from the summer and laughed until we couldn't breathe. We played games and ate Dairy Queen. And we talked about everything under the sun until the wee hours of the morning. Our conversations fluctuated between silly and serious, and we reconstructed the entire summer and all of our memories.
Stephanie said that the week felt like a retreat, and I'd have to agree with her. We were all disconnected from our normal constant media outlets. We prayed morning and evening prayer and attended daily Mass.
This time, when I said goodbye to each of these people, my heart wasn't as heavy as before. I said goodbye in joy, looking forward to the next time we meet.
Because I know that, even if we don't see each other for months, years, or ever again in this life, we remain united in prayer and a common experience of the journey of faith.