Isn't it amazing how many people come in and out of our lives in the blink of an eye? It's not like you ever know how things are going to turn out. One moment they're there and the next they're not. You know when you first meet them you don't think of how it will end or what you're going to end up leaving behind.
When you first meet someone you don't think, "This person will be gone from my life someday. Be it death, darkness, or the desire to leave, they will be gone and nothing will ever make them stay."
It's not the first thought that comes to mind anyway.
I have so many people that I left behind. My past has swallowed many friends and family that I can never get back. My family has structured itself around the loss of life; my friends have structures around a different future.
Friends will always leave you in the end. The difference is whether or not they will be back in your life somewhere down the line. There is only so much to lose when all hope is lost for what you had between you.
Where those friends were in your life leaves this great gaping hole and nothing can fill it in for a very long time. Sure, eventually you move on and make a few more friends that are destined to leave, but the hole is still there. Every now and then it opens up your eyes and you grieve for them, for what you lost, for what was left behind. The memories will cascade until you can only remember how things were between you.
You forget the bad and remember the good.
There are so many friends that I have lost and would love to chat with again. People who has disappeared from my life with a fond goodbye or vengeful thoughts.
Some of these people would probably never want to see or talk to me again. But what I wouldn't give to see them just one more time. To sit down with them and find the peace that we sought for the entire time we knew one another. To look into their eyes and know they are alive, safe, and most of all happy. To share a cup of coffee in a café until 2 or 3 am and just know that we think of each other fondly even after all that time that slipped between us. Time that which we can never get back.
Not everyone I have memories of has a name. A few of these folks would not remember me or even recognize me if I was sitting in front of them. But the ones who would, the ones I cared the most for, would see me and know instantly who I was. They would hug me close and whisper how much they missed me after all these years that have passed.
They would introduce me to those that stand with them with a fond note of tenderness in their voice. A new friendship would begin on the roots of the old. This time the roots would take a firm hold and stay deep within the ground.
I've lost too many people to count. The emotions that still run deep for each and every one of these people are all I have left of them. Memories can only suffice for so long. After those begin to grow foggy and distant you lose a bit more of the ones you once cared about every day. After a while it seems like such a dream. The ones that you considered you could never live without are now just a distant dream you once had that made you happy.
These are the ones that were there for you no matter what. They were the very essence of friendship. A person who always cared about your opinion even if they didn't agree with it. Someone who could take one look at you and judge exactly how you were feeling. They let you cry on their shoulder, knowing that you were getting their favorite shirt damp.
But they didn't care. The only important thing was your happiness. The very same thing that you wanted for them...happiness. If they cried you cried too. If they were hurting, you hurt to.
If you got arrested, they were sitting next to you in jail.
If you were to take a really deep look at your life what would you find? Would you see the people you really cared for, or the people that are left over from all the ones you've lost?
The hardest friendships to lose are the ones you are still in. When your sitting next to someone you care for beyond the shadow of a doubt, and you can feel the distance growing every second of the day. You feel the beginning of the end.
In these friendships, you can feel your grasp slipping. It's like trying to hold on to a fire pole slicked up with the best grease in the world. Then before you know it, they're sitting right next to you and yet, they are gone from your life. A day-by-day conversation goes to weekly, then monthly, then yearly. You send Christmas cards for a few years and then it ends completely. You've lost such precious memories that could have been made, as well as someone who made you feel complete.
I have been alone for so long that I have forgotten what it was like to have that deep connection. My best friend is my sister…and yet…I cannot help but wonder what happened to my life. What happened to leave me alone and wondering what has happened to the people who I cared about, and why do I sit day by day wondering what I could have done to make it different.
Why did some abandon me until I had nothing left? Why did I push some away until I began to hurt so deep inside that even I couldn't ease the pain? Was our future together so unclear that I couldn't trust them enough? That they couldn't trust me enough?
Did they know that we would think of each other later in life with such fond thoughts and wish that somehow things had turned out different?
I have a list (I know, I know, don't I always!) of people that I wish I could find or close the rift that opened in between us. The ones that hold such powerful memories in mind that even to this day I can recall the things that made each and every one of them special in my mind. I'll post this list in the hopes that maybe someday they find out that I want to sit down for a cup of coffee with them. That I'd like to look in their eyes and find out why they think things turned out the way they did. To sit in the café and talk about all the things we missed and all that we can do in the future to make up for it. To live our life to the fullest with each other…friends that go hand in hand through life and try not to look back on the things we lost while we sought out our destinies. Knowing that eventually we could come back to each other and all harsh past regrets could close the open wound within our chests.
I'm still here and I miss you guys. I miss you all.
The past catches up to us eventually. It's not in how many different directions you turn to avoid it that it makes a difference. It's how you accept it that matters most.