Remembering Old Friends

Last night I was thinking about people who used to be in my life. And then suddenly life changed and for whatever reason, I never saw them again.

But I don’t lament those relationships. I believe that some people are merely passing through your life. And aren’t meant to stay.

A quote about people who teach us lessons that could never be learned if they stayed in our lives.

There’s my first husband who I married at age 20.

I see him in Facebook photos that my daughters’ post when he comes to town to visit them.

What I remember most about 1st husband:

I remember he never really laughed. There was a sadness about him that never quite went away. It was as though he was defeated before he ever began.

I wanted to remain friends with him because of our daughters. But his new wife was very jealous and didn’t want anyone else near him.

Well, that’s hard to do when you have two children together. I recall he and I sat together at their high school graduations. Because she wasn’t in the picture back then and it seemed like the normal thing to do.

Sometimes you're just a memory to people quote, as in remembering old friends.

What I remember most about 2nd husband:

I was good friends with my second husband. But once we divorced I’ve only seen him twice in over 20 years.

There was no acrimony between us. We just drifted our separate ways and live in different places.

He could play almost any instrument. And he was a genuinely nice guy, a calm and peaceful man.

What I remember most about 3rd husband:

My third husband is deceased.

He was manipulative and drank too much. But he was obviously a great actor because I didn’t see through him for a very long time. What I remember most is being fooled by him in so many respects.

I never realized until almost the end that he was a functioning alcoholic.

The other day I told someone that I could probably walk into a stadium chock-full of men and manage to walk out with either an alcoholic and/or a jerk.

I’m naive in many ways. I believe what people tell me. And I try too hard to see the good in people, even if there isn’t much there to see.

Missing radar:

I don’t seem to have the proper radar to read people. Because I have social deficits and don’t always understand what people mean.

I prefer animals. Because what you see is what you get. They love you unconditionally and are always glad to see you. There are never hidden motives or an agenda beyond being fed and loved.

A quote about the fact that everything is temporary. In remembering old friends, you often learn this is true.

Friendships:

I think back to friendships when my kids were little. When they were in grade school. Or when I was in college. I don’t know if those people I was friends with are dead or alive.

But we were a big part of each other’s lives for a time. We were important to one another then.

Our path changes:

I realize as we walk down the path of life we often change. And friendships sometimes change as well.

Quote about people changing like season, like remembering old friends.

Such is life. Just remember that some people come into your life and are there to the very end. And others are just passing through.

But for whatever reason, they were a part of your life until they weren’t.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. – Flavia

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20 Comments

  1. Thank you for that. It isn’t always the right thing for something good for someone to be kind (“or nice”.) I have a friend, neighbor who is becoming a cherished friend. She doesn’t always tell me what I want to hear. Sometims it’s more what I need to be told. Like I said, she is becoming cherished.

  2. I agree, Brenda. I think of lost friends at times, the ones who have passed away and the ones who just passed out of my life. Some memories are good and some not so good, but all of those people contributed to my life in some way. xo Laura

  3. Thank you for your wonderful post. Made me sit back and think about all of the people I have had in my life, good and not so good. After 84 years there have been my people come and go in my life.
    Hugs to Charlie and Ms. Ivy

  4. I have found relationships with women and men to be pretty challenging and I think it’s because my relationship with my parents was not good. They loved each other and had a great relationship with each other, but they were so hard on my siblings and me, being so critical of us and engaging in guilt trips to keep us in line. I think it could be why my two closest friendships with women over the years, and my marriage to my first husband, were with people who were critical and judgmental of me. I tried to get their approval too but didn’t have much success. Over time I got out of all three of those relationships, not exactly knowing what was going on with them or with me, but just that it felt so bad. Now, many years later, I have been in my second marriage for 14 years and it is a good one — but it took us about nine years of knowing each other before we were trusting enough to get married! He had been in a bad first marriage too, similar to mine, with someone who was so dismissive of him. I really have never had any other really close friendships with women although I do have some acquaintances that I’m happy to have. So things aren’t great in the friends department, but definitely better.

    It’s occurred to me recently that there certainly were nice people, men and women, who have crossed my path over the years that I was really kind of afraid to get close to. I think I was afraid they’d see the real me and wouldn’t like me, because I didn’t like myself much. I think I might have actually come across as rejecting of some of those people, when I actually was so afraid of them rejecting me. Instead of getting to know them, I focused on the people who made me beg for their attention and approval. Gosh, what a waste of time, right? But, I am so grateful that I understand it now. I am 63, so, maybe there still is time left to have some good friendships in the years to come. Thanks for this really insightful post about relationships. Good or bad, our past relationships can help us to learn about ourselves and others.

  5. I agree with you Brenda some people come and some people go .It is a cycle .
    Their is a park across from our apartment it has a pretty gazebo .I went walking there with my husband yesterday it was the first day I have been out in several days .Since I have been so sick this year I have really isolated myself which is not good .
    I ran into two very nice ladies there and we began to have a very nice conversation they were both my age and it seemed we had alot in common I enjoyed it very much ,my husband walked back home and I sat with them til dusky dark.
    I have missed that interaction with other people. I realized talking to them how lonely I have been .
    I hope to do that again .On the way home I scolded myself for being so isolated
    I thought about what I may be missing ,gotta get more social again I need that in my life .The time I have on this Earth may be short but I need to make it mean something not just sit here and swivel up to nothing !
    Make the most of each second,minute, and hour whatever it may be .
    I even slept better last night ! And felt more invigorated when I woke up this morning .
    Have a great rest of the week !
    Keep up the great writing I look forward to seeing it everyday !
    Hugs to the fur babies !

  6. What a poignant post Brenda. I often think and reflect on the people from the past who used to be in my life, and now aren’t. I thought once long ago that friends were for life till I found out otherwise and what a shock that was. Now that I’m older and wiser I take things more at face value and as that picture you posted in says… I like you… and now I always think…yes, till when? I love my little dog for the same reason syou outlined, what you see with pets is what you get, no surprises. Thank you again for sharing such a meaningful post.

  7. I have three friends that I was in school with from elementary through high school and they are the most precious relationships. Then I have two or three really good friends made in the recent past who are also special people in my life. They are all women. I’ve never made close friends with men except the men I was dating or the one I married. My ex-husband and I are still friends, but in a somewhat limited way. We aren’t on the same wave-length in certain ways and yet we are in others, such a politically and value-wise. And, of course, in our concerns for our daughters and grandkids. It’s a bit strange, compared to most couples that have divorced, I guess.

    One thing I am aware of is that I don’t seem to be making any new friends at this point in my life. I think maybe because I don’t venture far from home or family or put myself in new situations anymore. I guess that is because I am pretty reclusive to an extent and don’t feel a need to meet new people or be in social groups much at all. The problem with this situation is that when you are old so many of your contemporaries die and you don’t really replace them. Soon, if you live long enough there are none of them left–just you. I rather dread that day.

    But the one true thing about life is that it is always changing and it seems change is hard for all of us. May we all learn to roll with it, difficult as it may be. It’s the only way to be at peace within ourselves and with our lives, Your post saying that friends come and go, relationships thrive and die is part of what we have to accept I think.

    A nice meditation on the realities of life, Brenda. Thanks.

  8. Just what I needed to hear! I have been grieving the loss of old friends this week. Lost to death, or divorce (yep, you can lose friends in the property split!), or growing apart, or just not getting along anymore. I’ve been dumped by friends and I have dumped friends – for a variety of reasons. Some friendships are contingent on proximity; when you aren’t in their neighborhood, church, class, etc., the friendship just fades. When I feel blue, I miss them all terribly. When I’m not, well, I remember why it was best we parted. Conflicted feelings all around. But I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who reminisces in such a way. And, I need to remember to be thankful for those that are still friends instead of dwelling on those already gone.

  9. I surely do understand about friendships…rare is a person who stays. Especially if something in one life or another, gets “sticky wicket”. Strange world we live in. No wonder dogs are so often our best friends…I have had some of the best friends in my dogs!! Will Rodgers said, “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”

  10. I’m a relatively new subscriber to your posts. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to reading more as time goes by. I don’t normally respond to posts but wanted to reply to today’s post. Friendships are always important at any stage in life. There are many depths/ degrees to friendships and also those that turn into relationships. From my own experience it is not a bad thing to keep the doors open and welcome new people into your life because as you say, some are only there for a short time. It’s not easy to make everyone happy and there will always be people who are ‘ looking for something’ out of a possible friendship and then there are those who don’t expect anything but genuine companionship. At 53 I can say I have kept a small handful of trusted friends. One I have known all my life. My closest friends have always been those who I don’t see as often as I would like to ( quite often months can go by) but when we do catch up its as if it were just yesterday since we last saw each. Have a wonderful day to all your readers. Regards, Adam.

  11. Hi Brenda,
    I agree people come into our lives for a reason. Some will be only for awhile and others will be with us until we take our last breath. There is so much to learn on our journeys in this life. People are a big part of that.
    Nice post.
    Kris

  12. Your third husband reminds me of someone I shared10 years of my life with. It should have never happened, but like you, I was naive, and believed everything I was told.
    Lesson learned the hard way.
    Whether it was my low self esteem issues, or my looking only in the good in people while ignoring the red flags. Why is it that when we are infatuated with someone we become blind to their faults?

  13. Very thoughtful and meaningful post. Something we all should keep in mind. Besides, if we always put ourselves at the center, we would be pretty self absorbed. Often the reason people come and go has nothing to do with us. Or, we might have to compromise too much of ourselves to keep people. Thanks for this!

  14. What a great post today Brenda. And so true. People pass in and out of your life. Some stay for the duration. I lost my two best friends to death one year and lifelong friends just can’t be replaced. Luckily new friends come along. I enjoy reading your blog and your adventures with your fur babies.

  15. I’ve always believed that people come into your life for a reason – and then if those people are no longer in your life, there’s a reason for that, too. I have plenty of friends that have come and gone since childhood – and that’s fine. That’s how life ebbs and flows. I don’t lament over those relationships either. I’m still friends with certain people from childhood; I have other friends that I’ve known for about 20 years; and a few new friends that I’ve made just in the past couple of years. I treasure them all.

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