(Composed last December, held on to it for a while until things eased up)
This has always been an issue with me. I have a hard time letting go and hang on to people and things long after it's time. Seriously, you should have seen Teddie who had a prominent place on my bed well through college. It was bad, very bad. So in my middle age, I'm learning a lesson that most people grasp in their youths. Seasons change, life goes on. And the lesson today is seasonal friends and life friends.
Have you ever had that person in your life that just clicked? From the very beginning, there was something so solid and lasting that the only word for it is "always"? I have one very strong example of a life friend. I moved next door to her family when she was 3 and I was 18 months. We're still just as strong and solid as ever. The kind of friend you know, no matter where we are or what's going on, if one of us is in trouble the other will come running. If we're not already handcuffed to the same bench. There is a comfort in knowing that. Through every imaginable curve life can throw, births, deaths, weddings, divorces, heartbreak and joy, she's there for me. She's not the only one, there are others I consider to be life friends. That's kind of my thing, I love for life. Whether you like it or not.
The thing I never got the hang of is seasonal friends. People who move in and out of your life at certain times to either bring you knowledge, skills, laughter, peace or painful lessons. They come in and I get attached. I move them into my heart as life friends never considering the possibility they would ever want to move on; that no matter how much I want them in my life, they don't feel a need to be there. When they do decide to take their leave, they take that piece of my heart with them. So my inclination is to move heaven and earth to hang on to that piece of my heart, causing myself and them more pain than is necessary.
So, what do you do when someone you consider a lifelong "always" friend considers you a "seasonal" friend and is ready to move on? If you love someone, truly love them, then you want what's best for them. You want to honor what they want and need, even if it isn't what you want and need. But how do you do that and remain whole? How do you do what's best for someone else and still remain true to your heart? Good question, I'll let you know when I have the answer. For now, my lesson is to learn that, no matter how much I want or need them, there will come a time when they're no longer there. And it's okay, let the pain move through you and live to love another day.
The best I can do is compromise. First, I'll honor your need to move on, kiss you and wish you well, maybe hug you a little too tight for a little too long. And then I will honor who I am by loving you always and keeping the door open and a light burning. You should go knowing that anytime during your journey, you shouldn't be afraid to pick up the phone.
I'll be here for you. Always.