It’s hard as a kid when you go to school one day, and you realize that this girl who has been your friend for a while, suddenly, doesn’t want to be your friend anymore. It might be because she found new friends, you just don’t have the same interests, or you are not cool enough. But you go home to Mom upset because you lost a friend unexpectantly. And she hugs you and says, “It’s OK, you have lots of friends, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be”.
Well, here I am a middle aged woman with kids, and I am upset because I have lost a friend. I miss my mom and her hugs, her reassurance that it wasn’t anything I did. But this is a big deal to me. This friend was the first person I called from the hospital the night my mom died. We were close, with lots of intimate conversations about life, family, marriage that were for our ears only. I confided in her and told her my deepest fears and shared my greatest joys.
I met this woman when our oldest sons were in kindergarten. We bonded right away. Less than a year after my mom died, when I was still in such a fog/shock/grief pit, she just stopped talking and calling. I tried for months to reconnect the way we used to. We saw each other often, at school functions and other things are then 5th graders did together, but something had changed. She had gone back to work, so I told myself it was that she was busy adjusting to the new schedule of balancing work and motherhood. She was very pleasant, even hugged me when we saw each other (which confused me even more!!!). I started to avoid her and put up an emotional wall when we were together.
Then last year right after Christmas, she asked to meet for lunch. I was nervous, like, blind date nervous!! She told me she was sorry and that it was all stuff going on with her and our estrangement had nothing to do with me. She gave little detail and I didn’t ask. But I thanked her anyway.
A part of me hoped that now that we had connected a little bit, she would open back up. But she has remained forever closed. Here we are at the holiday season and I get an invitation to a party she is throwing!! WTF!!
I have learned that I am not really capable of being close, intimate friends with someone and then going backwards to being good acquaintances. I simply can’t do that. I don’t keep many resentments, I know they hurt no one by myself but this one has taken me years to work through. By the way, I politely declined the party, it was just too uncomfortable, the thought of going.
I am like that little girl again, sad that I lost a good friend. And more importantly, not really understanding what happened to end the relationship. It really makes me grateful for the group of friends that I have that are steadfast and true, that I have known most of my life, that will be there for me as I will be there for them.
I am a Leo, they say we are loyal to a fault. My mom was a Leo too (same birthday). She taught me through her actions what it means to be a good friend. But she also taught me that “It’s OK, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be…”.