When I was younger- elementary and early middle school age- I didn't have many friends. I had a couple of close ones but that was it. Then when I got to high school I was suddenly apart of this group of friends! I was by no means popular but I enjoyed being apart of 'the group'. Being as naive as I was back then I honestly thought we would be friends forever. I believe that no matter the amount of time, distance, husbands and children later we would remain friends. But sadly because of those very reason my hope couldn't be further from the truth.
Shortly after I got married we moved 1200 miles from the only placed I called home. I left behind my family, the best job I will ever have and most important to me at the time, my friends. I really didn't think we would last 4 months here...that was 12 1/2 years ago. My friends really got me thru those hard times in the beginning. I looked forward to the visits home so I could see them again. I didn't get home as much as I would have liked but I tried to keep in touch thru emails, blogs, the occasional phone call and eventually mostly thru social media. I continued to hope that the distance wouldn't matter.
Apparently something went wrong along the way....
This month has been a rough one for our family. It started the end of last month with Sami getting attacked by a dog the day after she turned 11. She has since healed physically, and she is getting there emotionally. Exactly a week later my father-in-law had a bad reaction to a wasp sting and ended up on life support. Sadly he did not survive and passed away on September 9th.
6 days later my grandmother passed away as well. Her death I knew was coming but it certainly didn't make it any easier. Over the course of a two weeks I watched how the death of a family member can bring family and friends closer together and also how it can tear them apart. I saw people regretting not reaching out to these people before it was too late and now they have to learn to live with that guilt the rest of their lives. Plus these events were just another reminder that life is short and tomorrow is not promised.
Because of recent events I felt the strong need to go back to my home state of MI to be with my family. It had been a while since I had been back and I know it would likely be a while before I/we would be back again. Even though the visit would be short, I really wanted to see as many family and friends as I could; just in case this was the last time for whatever reason.
Even though I was able to see a lot of family again, (which was AWESOME!!) the friends where far and few between. And to be 100% honest I came home with a very broken heart.
So much had changed in my home town even since I had been there last. It wasn't the same anymore. While I didn't expect people to drop everything for me I couldn't help the overwhelming feeling that I lost more than just my grandmother and father-in-law this month.
The day I came back from MI a friend posted the following on Facebook:
"I think the only reason people hold onto memories so tight is because memories are the things that don't change; when everybody else does."
It couldn't have been a more perfect quote to explain how I was feeling. I have so many good memories of the great times with my friends. I often forget those are memories are from the past, not the present. I would like nothing more to make new memories with my friends; sadly I don't see that happening. I am often told, 'just move back to MI to be closer to everyone!' Even if it was as easy as it sounds; I am not sure anything would change. The two friends who did make time in their busy lives to see me on Sunday both said I do a better job at keeping in touch with them then all the local friends do. And that just broke my heart. I do have some wonderful friends here in Florida, but none are as close as those I have/had in MI. I'd give just about anything to have friends close by to see often. So when I go home I try to see any many friends as possible; who knows when the next time I will get back and who knows what tomorrow will bring.
I wish I had done a better job at keeping my friends; maybe I wouldn't have left so sad. But I can't change the past and can only try to do better in the future!
So the moral of the story...don't be like me:)