I do not see either of these ladies regularly, nor do we talk as often as I wish we could, as we did when roomie lived with me and dear friend lived across the hall. I have similar tales to share about other friends. I re-read an e-mail last night of another dear friend, who is moving across the country (although much closer to his hometown!) for residency, and I was embarrassed that I didn't even reply to his e-mail yet. And he moves tomorrow!
But perhaps there is beauty in these meetings and catch-ups; meaning too. When I read A's e-mail, I didn't feel like we were falling apart. I could hear him talking to me about Rambo Jesus and I craved to hear details about his overseas trip with his now-fiancee, especially since "busy" season will befall him soon enough.
In one month, I move 12-13 hours south of my hometown with my dearest friend and husband. We'll start to truly be in a more cocooned environment of him and work, and a baby, and me and writing. We'll keep in touch, but it's going to be different. And that's how it should be.
I don't expect to be gchatting with my friends at all hours of the day any more; we're not able to, since we're working or sleeping or eating during the times we'd be on our computer at college.
I don't write as many letters any more, although I hope to amend that.
I think of good times and happy times and trying times, and the people who stick through the stink. I think of my M&M friends, roommates who lived across the hall from me freshman year, and who are now sharing in the same life experiences I am. We feel so blessed to share our experiences with each other. When we're a bit more settled, we can start to plan annual trips. Until then, we group message to catch-up.
I think of friends in the big city and career-advancing, and friends in other areas, enjoying their work and life. I think of my best friend from high school living up the street from my parents' house, and how we're still taking walks and talking about everything. I think of my oldest friend living on the West Coast, soaking up sun and texting me funny pictures of her family's pug.
Friends are not the quantity, but the quality. The ones you can disagree with and know the love is still there. The ones you can vent to and not leave the conversation hoping they think you're still sane. The ones you want to share your life with, and share in theirs too.
I missed two weddings this past weekend -- both my Bright Maiden amigas are now Mrs. and Mrs., and I have yet to troll their wedding pictures until I can be less sad about missing the blessed events. And yet, how blessed I was to be with my whole new family this past weekend in Missouri, celebrating my new cousin's high school graduation!
And the best friends of my past and present, my siblings, are ever amusing me in their own unique ways - dogs included!
You see, we get to move forward together. We get to add new kids to the mix and life experiences and stay firm in our friendship while growing personally and professionally. We'll sharpen each other and poke each other, laugh a lot, confide in and maybe cry occasionally.
Life is too short to be anything but gracious and kind to others. It's not necessary to be friends with everyone, or even like them, but love - caritas - is beyond that goodly feeling one gets around like-minded souls. And it is in that kindness that a desire for friendship can be kindled. It is an openness to accept others, as well as to live a life worthy of yourself and your dignity. If you're lucky, you'll be allowed into someone else's sphere. Cherish it - it could change your life.
I cannot regret the horrible friendships any more than the ones who make me the best version of myself. As Elphaba and Glinda sing in Wicked, "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."