So, just in case you and I haven’t talked in a while… there is something you need to know about me: however we left our friendship when life took its inevitable twists and turns , however we parted ways, I somehow STILL feel as connected to you- as if no time has passed. (Which might sound creepy, but I mean it sincerely. 🙂 )
I don’t know, maybe it’s the military kid in me… having to move all those times. I never really “out grew” friends, because the next move usually coincided with a natural life transition. End of elementary school, end of middle school, high school and then college graduations…. we all moved on with our lives and met new people. We’ve all changed in one way or another, and proximity (especially all of those long distances) takes its toll… unless a lot of effort is made. ( I am so guilty of not being as active in keeping up with friendships that I hold very dear.)
But in my mind (and my heart) I remember, quite vividly, what our friendship used to look like. And it still feels as real to me now as it did back then.
For the record, I was this way BEFORE Facebook made this “false sense of friendship” even EASIER. I DO realize that an important component of friendship is some kind of active involvement.
But I open my middle school photo albums, and I’m right back there. Braces and glasses and bad, self-inflicted bang trims and talking about boys and Bible quiz meets. The awkwardness, the drama… my friends at school and church. The high school pictures of marching band put that annoying Texas pride right back in my spirit… as well as jog my memory of the hot, sticky, sweat in those awful marching band uniforms. How CCU band tour memories were some of the best moments of my life! And not just performing on stage (although amazing), but the late nights of playing Mafia, the awesome bus rides, exploring Chicago, Juarez, Albuquerque, and all of the home-stays. And the memories go on and on… (Japan, TBarM Camp, Germany)
But I don’t always let you know, Dear Facebook Friend, how excited I get when you or your family is going through something awesome! I’m also not so great at expressing how I’m mourning right along with you, when something awful or sad happens. Sometimes, I feel things so deeply, I’m afraid it would probably come off as awkward. Especially since it may have been a DECADE since we last spoke.
But now I want to get specific. Because this post was triggered by something that happened yesterday, but that I found out about today. One of my dearest middle school friends, whom I have not had much contact with in a very long time, lost her sweet 3 year old son yesterday. From what I’ve gathered (via facebook) it was completely sudden and unexpected. He went to sleep for his afternoon nap, and just… never woke up.
I am sincerely not trying to make her loss about me. My heart is breaking for my friend. The grief I feel and the tears I’ve shed are real. All I want to do is wrap my arms around her and cry with her. Even though I know almost nothing about her current life, how she’s changed, etc etc… I keep picturing this 11 year old girl that I knew and cared about… because we were good friends, once, a long time ago. I’m mourning that girl too, not just her loss. Because (I imagine) something like this changes you forever.
So, Dear Facebook Friend… now you know. I still cherish our memories. (Yes, even the ones from 25 years ago!) Transitions happen. Friends come and go… because we all change, grow up, and move on. And I know that it is completely healthy and natural, BUT it doesn’t mean I care any less about your life.