Friendships have been formed and later torn apart throughout my life. The first time it happened, I thought what was happening was tearing my world apart. Then friendship disaster hit a second time and I did not know which friend leaving was the worst. My mind spun in circles trying to decide if one is any different than the other.
When I was young, I knew less of the world and how life works. I had a friend, that had been a friend ever since I could remember. We shared a lot of our days together. We had our childhood victories, and fights. We got mad at each other sometimes for a few days, and then made up.
I had a second close friend too. We were also very close. My second friend and I got along famously, never fought, and our joint interests kept us close. We would play ball, explore the woods, and do all things young boys do when they are together.
My second friend’s Dad was in the military. I did not know what that meant other than a new boy showed up in school one spring day the year before. Because we were in the same class, we played together at recess and found out we lived close enough we could play together away from school. We became fast friends over the next year.
I found out a little about life in the military when I went to play with my friend one day. He was pretty quiet, and after a few minutes he told me they were moving (again). I asked him where he was moving too. My family had moved too, but it was always around the town we lived in. He said his Mom said it was a long ways away and we would not see each other again, probably.
My oldest and longest friend became ill. I never knew it, and I do not know if he did either at that time. he started to have trouble running and doing some other things boys do. Eventually he could not come outside any longer and play. His Mom would not let me in the house to play with him. I did not know it at the time, but he had been sick for a while. His illness progressed to the point he could no longer walk, and some time later he could no longer talk.
I would knock on the door and ask about him, and his Mom always had the same answer. He was in the house, he couldn’t come out, and I could not come in. Later that year, his Mom quit answering the door. I did not know why and I couldn’t think of anything we did that had him in that much trouble. I did not understand what I did that I could not even see him in his house.
I learned from a neighbor later that year my friend had died. Both of my friends leaving me in the same year was devastating to me. I could not distinguish between one friend moving away and one friend dying. They were both out of my life forever, and it hurt.
Now, so many lifetimes from those days, when two of my best friends left me, the memories of them grow dim. I can remember vaguely what they looked like, but not of what we talked about, and how we spent our time, or what made us best friends. I still miss them.
Life is one big circle if you pay attention. We just move during our life to a different part of the circle. This friendship loss of the circle has repeated itself on occasion since my childhood days. One friend goes this way and one friend goes that way. A few friends have left by dying. The feeling loss is always the same, only my perspective changes.
When I think of those friends now long gone from my life, I hope they each found something better. The friends that moved away, I always hope they found new close friends, and went on to accomplish great things with their lives. My friends that never had the chance to move away and make new friends, I always hope they closed one door and opened another that is an improvement on what they had.
Once more, one friend is leaving one way, and a second friend may be leaving by another way. How I feel about my friends and their leaving has not changed over the years. What changes in the perspective of my friends is my feelings about my friendships, and the cycle of our lives.
I also have learned over the years, something about the friends that have moved on in their various ways friends come into and out of our life. Even if there is no other door to open, or a new chapter starting in their book of life, unless I lose myself and my memories, I will never forget them.
All my old friends live on in me and with me in the warmth, happiness, and steadfastness that good friends give to one another. They still teach me the lessons they had to show me. I am always very grateful they came into my life when they did. I am also occasionally sad their stay in my life was so short.