They say that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. That makes sense. There were people who shared difficult times with me, people who helped me and who helped shape me into the person I became, people that I was able to help in some way, and people who will remain in my heart forever, even if they’re gone.
I envy people who are still close friends with people they went to school with; how you must trust them like family. Sadly, few people in my high school would even remember me. It isn’t totally my fault though – at sixteen I had to leave my foster home suddenly and the next several years are best described as a nightmare.
Thinking back over the years, I’ve come to realize that I lose people. For no particular reason except that life moved on and we lost touch.
It’s easy to lose people. One of us moves away, gets a new job, starts a new relationship (ever notice how some people forget their friends when they’re in a relationship? That’s a post for another day though). We have every intention of keeping in touch, getting together, remaining friends. Life moves on though and we look back and think, “Wow! Has it really been that long?” A year, five years, ten years, twenty years.
Some friends are meant to be though, and your paths with cross again. That was the case with my elementary school friend, Susan Hayman (now Holbrow). I used to walk by her house on Beechgrove Road every Sunday on my way to St. Joseph’s Church. She started coming with me. That always confused me because she wasn’t Catholic – she didn’t HAVE to go to church. She even came to summer camp with me one year – and shortly after that her family moved to Fullerton California. We wrote to each other for awhile, but the letters eventually dwindled. I’m so happy to see her whenever she visits Canada, and one day I will visit California.
Facebook has helped me to reconnect with some other high school friends, including a special one, Karen Robbins. These friends – Karen in particular – knew me best; she knew the difficulties I faced when I was sixteen. Even after I left my foster home, we stayed in touch, lived together for awhile, and then we lost touch. I searched for her for years, to no avail. I still remember the day she connected with me on Facebook – I literally cried.
My biological parents are gone. My foster parents are gone. My foster sister is gone. I am not close with my biological siblings. Sometimes I feel all alone in the world. That’s when I start thinking of the people I’ve lost and I ask myself why I allowed that to happen.
I think we all mean to stay in touch, but life gets busy and distracting. I have to do a better job at reaching out and just say “Hi, how are you” to keep the connection going. I’m going to challenge myself to write a list of people I know that I don’t want to lose, and my resolution for 2022 will be to strengthen the connection.
There’s a reason we met, and I don’t want to lose any more friends. If you’re reading this and think you might be one of the friends I haven’t stayed in touch with – please don’t hesitate – reach out and keep in touch. Don’t let me lose you.