I grew up with a whole bunch of aunts and uncles who weren’t actual blood relatives. The aunts were all my mom’s childhood friends, and they stayed close throughout their whole lives.
I’ve never had a group of friends like that. Never for any long period of time. And, for the most part, this isn’t something I’ve felt was an issue. My childhood friends are all wonderful people. But I stopped having things in common with them a couple of decades ago. I’m still close to some of my friends from college, but we’re now scattered across the earth. So close, but far apart. There is no cohesive group with whom to share birthdays and holidays. Just occasional phone calls and even less occasional vacations.
And now, at 40, I find myself losing track of some (more) of the people I care about. It’s certainly happened before, over the past couple of decades. Usually for the most obvious reasons. People move away, they get swallowed up by new jobs, and/or by new relationships.
The new relationships, that’s the big one, lately. In the past year I’ve had no less than 3 good friends completely disappear into new relationships. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for them and their relationship happiness. And I want their relationships to work. I vaguely recall how hard it is to make a relationship work. With all of the time pressures/work/family/etc it’s easy to lose track of some of your friendships.
Anyway, it hit me, the other day, that I’m not OK with this. That if it means I have to be the one who makes all of the effort to keep these friendships alive, I will. Even if that’s a little perverse and unfair and maybe even desperate. Whatever. And whatever it takes. I’m tired of losing the people I love.
I don’t plan on having kids or having anyone’s kids call me Aunt… (funny thing, my closest friends are all childless). But I do think of my friends as family. And I’m willing to make that extra effort to keep them in my life.
ps They all know about this blog, but none of them actually read it (to the best of my knowledge).
Tags: family, friends, relationship