How many of you have ever scrolled through facebook and come across a post, by a good friend, highlighting a very important event in their life? It looks like an exciting time, and there were lots of people gathered to help them celebrate their special occasion, and you get that strange, sad feeling in the pit of your stomach. You wonder “why didnt they invite us?” We love these people, we consider them great friends. We would have loved to show our support and celebrate this occasion with them.
Has anyone else ever experienced this? Am I just a weird duck? Am I wrong to feel sad that we were not included? It tends to make me wonder whether our friendships are real. We love them so much, and genuinely care what goes on in their lives. Do they not feel the same about us? When I have momentous occasions or happenings in my life, I want to involve all those who have played a huge part, in my life, to share in the joy. Clearly, others dont think the same way. Is this just a fact of life?
I have a friend, whom I have known since I was about 8 years old. We were inseparable, all throughout our childhood, until we entered high school because of how the school district lines were drawn. We continued our friendship, however, throughout that time and into early adulthood, even though it required more effort since we didnt exactly live in close proximity to one another. As we grew older, the time spent together grew less and less; However, there was always that unspoken rule that we were always “best friends” and we had each others backs. Over time, I began feeling that if I was to talk to her at all, I had to be the one to initiate the contact. It was never her. Eventually, we talked less and less and spent time together less and less.
I remember, in 2000, my father had passed away, and when she learned of his death, she called and came around, in tears, saying how guilty she felt that we had drifted apart and made promises to rectify that. I was happy to hear from my friend, especially during that time, and hopeful that we could get back on the “old track”. The funeral came and went, life goes on, and very soon, we were back to the same thing. Never heard from her unless I initiated the contact.
Fast forward, many years, to the day that I opened Facebook and saw all of the beautiful pictures of her daughters wedding. WHAT?? I was there the day her daughter was born. We had our babies at the same time. I didnt even know she was getting married. I remember sitting around for two days, in shock, feeling hurt and sad, that she, apparently, didnt think enough of me to invite me to come and share in the joy of her daughters big day. Because of the way the previous years had gone, though, I let it go after a couple of days. Again, I guess life goes on.
I have watched this friend, throughout our 30’s and 40’s, as she posts pictures and memories she is making with other friends. I would be lying if I didnt tell you that I, secretly, wished she would call and invite me along sometimes. Who wouldn’t? When I turned 42, I went through a very low point in my life. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The next 6-8 months were quite horrendous. A friend, during that time especially, would have been nice. I probably got a “How are you” text, or two, from her during that whole ordeal. I never had any bitterness or anger during that time, but I will say there was a good bit of sadness and loneliness. I am human. I was coming to the realization that she just doesnt miss our friendship like I do.
Earlier this year, she was turning 50. Her friends and family threw her a surprise party. Her mother and daughter, in planning the event, invited my husband and I. The more the merrier, right? Well, of course, my husband (whom she has known longer than me) and I made plans to attend. I guess there was a little excitement and hope that she would find it as special as I did that we were there for her big day. I was secretly hoping that it would open a door for us to rekindle our friendship. After all, we arent getting any younger.
She gave both of us the obligatory big hugs and told us that she was glad we had come., but over the course of the next hour or so, my husband and I found ourselves standing or sitting to the side talking to each other about how and when to make a graceful exit. One thing that was very obvious and a bit overwhelming for us, was watching the party-goers go through beer after beer after beer. It was like the beer Olympics that night. The partying got louder and louder and the collective dialogue became more difficult to understand. My husband and I can enjoy a social drink with the best of them, but this was a group of 50+ folks carrying on like they were at a friday night high school party. My husband and I rarely indulge in anything stronger than coffee.
Needless to say, we soon became bored and discussed the fact that we really dont fit in with this scene, so we said our goodbyes and made our way to the comfort of our own home. I think I even had a bit of peace, that night, realizing that maybe there was a reason why our friendship has been virtually non-existent all those years, and maybe it was for the best (Took me 42 years to figure that out…42 years). My friend and I, while at her party, did discuss the fact that we should get together more often; however, to this day, 6 months later, (and I did reach out to her a couple months ago) I have not heard from her.
I guess the lesson learned is that God knows what and who we need in life. When He takes something or someone out of your life, it is for good reason. Dont spend 42 years mourning whatever or whoever it was. She and I are the same age, and though we shared a special bond, early in life, our lives took very different paths…..and that is okay!