As we prepare for our move I find myself reflecting on friends lost over the years. Particularly the move here to California. Several friends promised we wouldn’t lose touch, but as time passed communication became sparse. Regular phone calls became monthly calls, emails went unanswered, even when I joined Facebook (late in the game I admit) I reached out to some who “friend ed” me back, but when I tried to move beyond that I didn’t get any response. I made a one time “Best Friend” my daughter’s godmother, sure that we would always be in each others lives. I’m not even sure where she lives now. She stopped communicating with me. I entrusted her with what I had hoped to be an important role in my daughter’s life. All I can do is wonder why. There was even a woman, a relatively new friend, who befriended me because my old neighbor, her friend, had moved away and not kept in touch with either of us as promised. We bonded over the loss of our friend and began what I thought was a terrific friendship. Not long after that I discovered that we would be moving here. We were both saddened by this road block in the way of the promise of a great relationship that lay ahead. We swore we wouldn’t be like “her” and keep in touch. I moved, we called, we exchanged letters, and then suddenly she was gone. No note, no goodbye. The same thing happened with a friend from high school. She reached out via the internet. I discovered that she was an artist, something I had never known about her, and was thrilled at the connection. We jumped into this new adult friendship head first. Lots of emails, exchanges of ideas, and even gifts. When I was back in Chicago I made a point of seeing her. It was wonderful, we had dinner and talked and talked about our families, our lives, and for me the most important thing of all, we talked about art. I have two wonderfully creative friends here, very artistic and talented, but neither does the kind of work I do. This woman does. I was excited at the prospect of bouncing ideas off of each other, and then…POOF! Gone. No answer to my emails. It left me feeling as though I’d done something wrong. Last year the wife of a former colleague of Dan’s and I met at a dreaded business dinner. I didn’t want to go, but by the end of the evening I felt like I had a wonderful new friend. She has dropped me like a hot potato. Your guess, I have no idea. There are so many more stories like those in my life. Not that I am completely innocent. I too have drifted out of a life or two. I guess I can’t take it personal. More importantly I hope that the people I’ve left behind don’t question themselves about it. I only know that some of my missing people had an impact on my life and I will never get to tell them that. As a shy little girl with not a friend in the world, friendship means a great deal to me. I’m not one of those people with a huge social circle. I’m more of a half-dozen or less kind of girl, but each and every one of my friends brings something different into my life. When someone vanishes it leaves a little hole in my heart for a bit, and of course me being neurotic me, I agonize over what I could possibly have done wrong. I know, wasted energy, but just try telling that to my heart and slightly skewed brain.
So my dear friends who may be reading this, you count. You make up parts of my life. You bring personality, laughter, shoulders to cry on, and you make me feel good about myself. Why? Because I think we are all special in our own way, I admire qualities in all of you, and the fact that you want to be my friend makes me feel special. That, and even though you know what a messy, half-crazed, glass not half empty but broken on the floor worry wart I am you seem to like me anyway.
Off to new horizons, but this time inside the state line, so no excuses my friends, lets work on this. I’m starting over, but there are some of you that I just can’t imagine my life without.