My cousin, an acclaimed author, recently went on assignment resulting in a friendship reignited after ten years of dormancy. He and his childhood friend simply connected as if the ten years they were apart, were only ten minutes.
I am jealous of my cousin, in so many ways, but his arsenal of down-earth-true friends is amazing to me. How could one person have so many genuine best friends? I’ve only had two best friends. And they both dumped me.
From after high school through my first divorce I had a really genuine friendship with a woman who knew all of my rough spots, yet fought on my side when I needed her. Then, her life went one way and mine another. A common occurrence, I’ve been told. And now, this woman with whom I grew up is only a friend because we both have Facebook accounts.
I was lucky to find a second genuine friendship, one that impacted not only my life but the life of my family. We treated her like family. My son actually has a picture of them on his wall, taken after one of his on-stage performances. Now, I wish I would have never framed that picture.
We used to text at least 15 to 20 times a day. I walked with her through several life-changing moments that left her torn to pieces, and together we fit them back together again. She dove into muddy waters with me and we both came out dirty, but better for the experiences. She was my everything, outside of my family. That is probably where I went wrong.
She asked me to go with her to Denver for some “personal growth” conference led by a famous motivational speaker. I declined due to cost. Then I received what would be our last text. She said she landed in Denver.
After ignored texts and unanswered calls, I tried an email. She replied! I was elated to see her name in my inbox. But annihilated by its content. She wished me a good life and closed with, “take care”.
Take care? Are you kidding me? She knew my worst nightmares and all of my vulnerabilities! She used to call me her “sister from another mister”, corny but sweet, especially to one without siblings.
I was confused as hell. My husband begged me to process through the “break-up” and move forward.
But, I needed closure. And, eventually, I got it. Turns out she dumped me because I was a negative person.
Horrified and hurt I searched my brain for the last few topics we discussed. Yep, they were negative all right, but they were life’s events. Events such as the suicide of my son’s schoolmate and fearfully awaiting a test result that could change the course of my life.
That last week of our friendship she asked for only positive conversation topics, but disingenuous dialogue with a woman who knew me so authentically was impossible. Selfishly ignoring her request, I continued to share my emotions triggered by that week’s harsh reality. Early on we promised to process emotions together, always in the safety of our friendship. It never occurred to me the promise had an expiration date.
The end of that week she went to Denver. On Saturday she walked on hot coals and by Sunday her end of the friendship went silent, until that final email telling me to “take care”.
She does sneak in my mind here and there. But then I realize how well I am actually doing at “taking care.”