I’ve been sipping my tea on this topic for quite some time, but it is coming up more often than I would like to admit the closer I get to moving. Everyone has friends that you were once so close to you couldn’t see any part of your life happening with out them, then you half way blink and be damned if Life didn’t just happen without them! And hey, maybe you are like me left wondering exactly…why? I kind of want to get into a bit of a back story, but then again, for fear of legit rage over acknowledging how things got this far, I don’t. Yet…here I am still typing so I guess we are about to get into this shit.
What I am talking about is what was going on a 15+ year friendship at the time. Here we all are, hitting major milestones, graduating from college, starting careers, starting families, starting master’s programs, buying cars, and houses and cheering each other along every step of the way, so I thought. So, I really thought, until one day I realized there was one voice no longer really cheering in my corner, as a matter of fact, outside of an occasional need for minor financial assistance here and there I hadn’t really heard from them at all. It was odd no doubt, but initially I thought, we all do have so much going on, big moves on the horizon, demanding jobs at times (mine in particular) so I started to believe that maybe I wasn’t as available as I once was. FALSE, but I’ll get to that shit in a minute.
So I began to back track, trying to figure out where things got grey and I was taken back to my wedding, YUP, I smile because I still look back on that day as legitimately one of the most joyous, easy going, blissfully fun days of my life. However, my bridal party didn’t necessarily have the exact same recap I did when dealing with some of the events they threw for me leading up to the nuptials. And really, had I not started to inquire some time afterward, I may have never known. They were so great in the sense that they didn’t want to bother me with any of the shenanigans that were going on behind the scenes that I could still 8 years later not know a thing. But I can’t un-know these things now, and there was some behavior from my friend that just wasn’t indicative of someone who you legitimately loved and thought would have been really supportive of such a big step in life and the occasion. But LAWD, apparently that old saying IS true, weddings and funerals bring out the worst in those you thought were your best.
So I had to soul search for a moment. Was there something I did that led to this? I always was the one that reached out, called no matter what shift I was working just to see how things were going, always made the effort to get together for birthdays, extended the invitation for family cookouts, I tried to support all of the high moments, and even more so tried to support the low because to me that’s what a friend did. Even when I didn’t have a ton of time, I made the time. So I decided to make more time, maybe I was making this too much about me and I was missing something critical that was going on. And yes, there was a lot going on because…well… adulting sucks and every now and then we need a friend to listen and be there for the curve balls that it throws you, and I dove in to try and be there for all of the pivotal moments. Until I was facing a pivotal moment of my own, we were expecting and after an ectopic pregnancy I was excited but terrified, and I just wanted to hop in the conversations and say Hey! I have some news, I have some angst and I have some legit fears, and….well…I never even told them first like I seriously wanted too because It hit me like a ton of bricks, I was not a concern. Isn’t that a wild realization?! I couldn’t even remember the last time I had received a phone call just to see how I was doing, and to make sure I wasn’t completely losing it, the millennial in me scrolled through my call log and time after time I was the outgoing call, they were never the incoming. Why was I expecting someone to be the same kind of friend that I was, and actually the kind of friend that they were many years before, when it was clear that the dynamic changed, my value in this equation changed and I was a little late to want to acknowledge it and see it for what it was.
Now I know what you are thinking, that I decided to have some heart to heart deep ass conversation about my feelings and how I wanted more out of this friendship than what I was getting because it was worth fighting for. Nah, like on so many levels I was muted for real. I didn’t even address it, you know what I did, I kept calling, kept listening, kept being the same friend I had been, and like a lot of people still holding on to a failed relationship for the sake of what their family might think, or their other friends might think, I was holding on to this friendship because I had invested so much time, literally still had so much love for them and their family that I was willing to give still way more of myself than I was getting in return. And in case you were wondering, they found out about my pregnancy after we made it past the 13 weeks, on Facebook, because out of those 13 weeks I didn’t even get asked one personal question, not even a “how was your day?”.
Things got complicated after that, conversations got brief, our baby shower came and went, they came but were barely involved…I delivered a healthy baby girl and they didn’t even come to see us. One of my best friends since I was 12 years old didn’t even come to see me and I almost let myself feel a kind of way about it, but then our best friend’s grandmother passed away, suddenly, and when I say it hit hard. IT.HIT.HARD. She loved us all like we were her own, and had, literally since we were tweens, she never treated either one of us any different than she did her own granddaughter who had been our best friend forever. Nana was there for everything, our birthdays, recitals, graduations (high school and College) she took us to lunch, brunch, and sometimes just out for the sake of being out because that’s what grandmothers do. I never wanted to have to make that call, I never wanted to hear Nana passed away, let alone say it, but I didn’t want our best friend to have to say it again, so I picked up my phone. I remember this shit like it was yesterday, because I had to sit down, I was waiting for them to answer the phone, and they didn’t. I called again and they answered, a little rushed and not even a Hello, it was “I’m at work, I’ll call you on my lunch…”I had to blurt it out to get a word in, “Nana passed away I am on my way over to her house, she is going to need us”, “I’ll call you back” but they didn’t. I didn’t hear from them that day or the next. I went to be with my friend and her family because that is where I needed to be, I knew what she meant to me, and unequivocally knew what she was as the matriarch of their family and how devastating of an impact this was going to have on them, my extended family, and I was heartbroken over the fact that there wasn’t much I could do to help take this pain away. This was October of 2012 and till this day I don’t know if they ever picked up the phone and actually called to give condolences, hell even called to see if there was anything they could do to help them through this grief. And I don’t bring it up, because even in 2019 it is still hard for my best friend to talk about the loss of Nana, but when they didn’t show up to the funeral AFTER I made sure they had all of the information, for the woman who had done so much for us both, THAT was my breaking point. And no, for a while, I didn’t call.
It wasn’t until my oldest daughter was about 8 months old, that I even got a physical phone call from them, and that was because they had a loss of a parent. Of course, like any person would, I was there, because that was a hard moment, a low moment, and no one should ever have to maneuver that alone. They did, after the funeral and some time passed, come and see my oldest for the first time, and what I now know will likely be the last, because see, I haven’t seen them since. I still called a little while after that, to check in and after the loss of another vital family member of theirs and I made sure to try to keep up with them, but one day I decided to see if they would reach out and keep up with me, I had a lot going on as well and well, its July of 2019, I haven’t seen or physically spoken to them since 2013. I’ve texted for birthdays and some holidays, but the last was October 2017, and I barely got a response back and haven’t heard anything since.
To answer the question that I have gotten from a lot of people, a lot of other friends and some family over the past couple of months, I don’t know what she thinks of me moving to Germany or how she is going to handle having a “friend so far away”, because I lost that friend years ago, and not for lack of trying, and not because I didn’t love her, but because I simply decided not to pick up the phone and call, and not making one phone call turned into 6 years of nothing. After all of that, I’ve said it, 6 years of nothing and I would be lying if I said it didn’t still hurt a smidge. I would be lying if I said I didn’t care at all that our friendship to them wasn’t worth even a phone call back. So I wont lie, but I have learned something valuable about friendships, cherish the ones you still have, and invest in them and hopefully they continue to invest in you too, good ones are really hard to find, and even harder to sustain. And I know friendships have ebb and flows right, and it may not always be what it once was and I am ok with that. I even have some that we were once super close and even though things have changed because life took us in different directions, we do still at least communicate, we haven’t written each other off and keep in touch when we can and for that and those friendships still, I am thankful. I have been utterly blessed to still have many that I’ve gained and maintained along the way.