It seems like only yesterday that I was maid of honour to Di on her wedding day in October of 1970. She moved away and gradually the friendship dwindled away to the occasional email. It doesn't seem that long ago that another friend shared the process of first pregnancies with me through the summer of 1976. We both had daughters and shared the first few years of their lives together. Now I don't even know where she lives.
Then Margaret came into my life. She lived behind me across the fence and had three children roughly the same ages as my two. What a wonderful woman she was as she took care of my two when I was called in to substitute teach. She was a second mother to my little girls until I realised that I wanted to be the only mother they had, so quit working altogether. We kept in touch even when she moved to another community, but the friendship gradually faded away.
One Linda came into my life as a result of our both becoming single again and we hit it off. But over the years, I found her to be controlling, obsessive, and paranoid. Although I felt sorry for her and her circumstances, she was dragging me down, so I finally stopped all contact. Another Lynda was a co-worker and we'd make dinner for each other once in a while and share stories about our kids and our past marriages. When I moved on to go back to teaching, we stopped seeing each other so often.
My friend Kathy (with a K) was the first of my friends to die. That sounds so blunt - maybe I should say she "passed away" or "was called home to the Lord." But cancer ate away at her for almost 20 years and that insidious disease finally won the battle.
It's the same with people you work with, but when you leave your position for another job or to retire, you realize that the majority of these people, nice as they are, aren't true friends. And if you are not married (like me) it's even harder to make new friends. (Please don't suggest church, exercise classes, or clubs - been there, done that, and it doesn't help.) I love to travel but it gets very expensive when you have to stay in a hotel on your own. And the friends I do have either can't afford it or aren't interested in the same places I am.
Anyway, over the years, I have developed friendships with some women who live halfway around the world from me, and I wish that I could see them more often. Even though social media has become more and more common so that it's easy to "message" each other, stay in touch via Facebook, Skype, or face chat, it's still not the same, is it? Where did the days go when we would drop over to the neighbour's or have the neighbour over for coffee or tea, go for a walk around the block with the kids, even go out to a movie or a meal with a girlfriend? Since my friend Cathy (with a C) and I retired, she does a lot of volunteer work through her church and I continue to do tutoring. But we make a point of going out for breakfast at least once a month to catch up and it's great.
So, as the years fly by at light speed, as friends come and go, as we age, and as we gain or lose friends or family, I hope and pray that I will be able to continue to live fully and happily to the bitter end - alone or not. Anyone else feel this way? And do men experience the same type of thing?
In the meantime, I will continue to dream of more life adventures until the day I leave this world!