I have this ritual that I do.
Ever so often I sit on the floor of my bedroom and pull old letters out of my special drawer. This drawer holds letters sent over the years, from many of my close friends and even casual acquaintances. The experience makes me sad at times for friendships lost and makes me smile most times at what a silly teenager and young adult I was.
On one of these journeys down memory lane, I read a number of letters from my pen pal Donna. I’d met Donna through a television show called Big Blue Marble and for those of you who remember that television program, show some love.
We were both eleven and by our first letter we were fast friends. We wrote to each other about everything, family, school, first boyfriends, marriage, the birth of her son, everything. Then our letters stopped. About two years ago, after one of my rituals, I decided to find Donna. I missed her and I felt determined to find her and to find out what had happened to her after all these years. I took her last known address and looked for her online after all everyone’s online, but when it came to finding her that turned out to be harder than I expected. I did learn a few things like she was registered as a Democrat, but that was about it. I had found many “Donnas” just not my Donna.
Determined, I went over our early letters and found a very old one from when we were about 12 and called! It was of course her parents house and her Mother was very excited to hear from me, so I now had Donna’s new number and the re-connection was made. I immediately called her and it was like we’d never lost touch. We exchanged e-mail addresses and we were off, or so I thought. I initially got a very long letter from Donna, chronicling all the years of her life that I had missed and then a trickle or two more, then nothing.
I tried emailing the work address she had given but she no longer worked there and at that point I felt that I had I learnt a very important lesson; you can never go back. I wondered why she hadn’t messaged me to say she was leaving or why she didn’t stay in touch, but I resolved in my heart that, we were no longer teenage girls with stories to share, we’d grow up and grow apart and things had changed.
I miss Donna, and I still think about her and wonder if she’s okay. Then I wonder about the many friendships that we make over the years and the revolving door that is our lives and maybe the old saying is true, people come into our lives for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime, we simply have to learn to embrace that truth and see each relationship for the role it plays and the lessons it comes to teach us.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on friendship and how you handle the changes.
Updated for Thrive Global. Originally published under the title Friendships lost, can we ever go back at www.bebee.com