The above quote appeared in my Facebook news feed the other day. Its appearance was spookily timely….
A day or two before I stumbled across it, I had occasion to reach out to an old friend. For the purposes of this blog, it doesn’t matter who or why, but this old friend has played quite an important role in my world in the past. They still held a special place in my heart.
Admittedly, over time, we had lost touch, but it takes two adults to keep the flame of friendship kindled. Initially, around 17 years ago, I had tried repeatedly. I’d sent occasional messages, I’d sent birthday greetings to them, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year messages but they were largely ignored, and our worlds drifted further apart as their silence grew louder.
I thought long and hard before reaching out to them last week but life’s too short sometimes in my book to waste time. So, having found a number for them still nestled in the contacts on my phone, I sent s short friendly message asking them to get in touch. (There was also an apology included in case I was disturbing a complete stranger in the event the number was no longer theirs.)
I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the short message chain that followed. Their wording was very “cold”. They told me I’d need to do better than that then said I’d only got in touch after nearly twenty years because I wanted something and why should they jump to help me.
I never asked or implied I wanted help or anything else other than to try to re-kindle that flame of friendship.
I was hurt by their assumption that I wanted something. For those who actually know me, you’ll appreciate that that’s not my style! I was made to feel as though I’d been about to ask for their life savings!
Now, I acknowledge that I can be a sensitive soul, but their hostile reaction left me broken and in tears.
I sent a final message saying to let it go, I wasn’t looking for anything and was merely, in good faith, trying to reconnect with them. I apologised for disturbing their day.
As the second half of the quote says, “Our lives are made up of so many people and when people become parts of our lives some parts remain long after they leave.”
This friends introduced me to some of my favourite authors, introduced me to new music that all these years later I still listen to, they danced with me at my own wedding and were one of the first visitors when we brought Boy Child home from the hospital as a newborn baby. All very important personal memories…sadly all now tarnished thanks to the reaction my innocent, well intended message received.
I’d hate for anyone to be left feeling the way I’ve felt over this sorry incident. So, please remember, friendship – true friendship- doesn’t come with an expiry date. In this case it appears to have had a “best before” date and it seems that’s long since passed.
(credits to the owner of the image -source from Facebook)