I've recently had a revelation about myself: I won't let go.
I'm not talking about holding grudges or obsessing over nonsense. I'm talking about my past and the people who played major roles in helping me become who I am today.
When I discovered Facebook eons ago, I secretly dubbed the site "Pastbook" because that's what I spent the first months doing...digging up names from my past and reuniting with them. It was a non-stop joyride for me to bring back those who had mattered so much but whom I had been forced to let go. Not anymore. Of course, most of those initial reunions turned into nothing more than a new "friend" whose status I could check at my whim, and that was enough for me.
I'm wise enough to know that some people were acquaintances in my life and that it's okay to let them go. But the storymakers of my past hold more value than that. I've been fortunate to still have my dearest friends from childhood in my life today because even though I've grown so much, these girls were my foundation; to let them go would be like resting the house of my soul on a sinkhole and hoping it won't disappear.
At the time of my revelation, however, I couldn't stop thinking about one amazing friend who was missing from my adult life, and I missed him terribly. We lost touch many years ago for some of the typical reasons - inconvenient geography, different phases of life, a wife threatened by our friendship. But he wasn't just a boy I once knew who I could file alongside the others who had paved the way to my relationship with my husband. No, this boy had always been my friend, my buddy, my prom date, my confidante, and never my lover. He was truly my friend. And I was angry that we'd lost touch.
Since our falling out of touch, I have tried to contact him many times via email, Facebook, and voice mail, but he never responds. Then over a year ago, I heard through the grapevine that he had lymphoma, and my heart broke. I was warned that he'd become less social during this period and so I didn't even try to contact him but instead kept contact with those who knew of his treatment and progress. And progress he did. He is now cancer-free, so I've heard.
Then recently, I almost bumped into him. I say almost because apparently we were at the same fundraising event but at different times. Since then, I can't get him off my mind. When I think about how many crucial moments of adolescence we shared, I feel empty not knowing what is in his heart today.
I know this is one of those true friendships that must stay in the past because it takes two to make a friendship last, but I won't accept it gracefully. He was integral to who I was then, and whether he knows it or not, that has made me a better friend today. I refuse to forget him.
Do you have any friends from your youth who you would you never let go? If so, feel free to honor them here. My list includes:
Suzanne, Jennifer, Lisa, Benay, Martha, Karen, Andrea, Kathleen, Rachel, and of course...Shane