Passing Through And Leaving A Mark

When you are in the process of making a friend you don’t think of  the developing friendship ending.

But some friendships do.  End that is.

Just because.

Life moves on.

Or they move away.

Kimmy.  My first friend- that I remember.  We were very young throughout our friendship.  And though I was just as young,  I still think of her as little.  Short.    And happy.  It goes to reason that if we were the same age then we would be the same age now.  No matter. I will always remember her and have her with me as a young child.  Her bouncy blonde hair.  Her awesome house that sat  catty corner to ours.  I don’t remember any unpleasantness or unhappiness when thinking of her.  I just remember childhood where the air was cleaner, the houses were huge to our littleness, brothers were a pain in the ass but we would have had to say ‘butt’ back then, and the saddest part of the day was darkness when we had to go in.

Bonnie.  She lived down the street.  Her dad scared me.  He never ever did anything inappropriate.  He was just …. not nice.  Once I walked through the house following Bonnie.  We were going from her bedroom to the backyard.  He was at the table eating and right as we walked past he got up and slammed his plate of food in the trash.   Later Bonnie told me it was because we breathed on his food as we passed the table where he sat eating.   I felt sorry for her.   I don’t think home life was fantastic.  It was my first experience in a hoarded home.  But I didn’t know the name for that back then.  I just thought they had way to much stuff for the small house they had.  She played the flute.  She got pregnant when she was very young.  The father of the baby wasn’t nice to her.   I think that worried my parents.  I know that worried my parents.  She moved away not so long after that.  When I think of her now I am convinced that she found her way, for her and her child.  And that where she is now she is happy, successful in her life.  Where ever she chose to go with her life.  I just trusted her, even when she had no reason to trust in others.

Cara.  She was older than me.  I was a young mom with a young child.  She and her husband were that upwardly mobile couple I had not ever known in the rural country spot I had been living in.  She was professional and dressed the part.  To that point in my life and for a long time after…professionally dressed people intimidated me.  People who seemed to have it all together would make me sad.  Seeing them made me feel like there was something wrong with me.  Until I met Cara.  She loved me.  She didn’t care that I didn’t like dresses, or high heels.  She liked me, for me.  Cara and I talked for hours every day when we worked in the office.  Me as a clerk.  She as administration.  We worked, talked, laughed.   I moved this time.  She didn’t want me to make the changes in my life I was going to make but she supported me.  We kept in touch for awhile.  When she moved to another state I knew that where ever she went she was going to model acceptance and respect.

Marta.  We met every week over a large bag of potato chips and a large tub of chip dip.  We spent hours talking.  About her kids.  My kids.  Husbands.  Fears of providing for families in a horrible economy.  I don’t ever remember going out anywhere or getting together for any other reason.  Just getting together in each other’s homes.  Talking.  Eating.  Talking.  Sharing our every day lives.   Like when her mom passed and as she died she spoke and said “hello Jesus” and we marveled at that every time we discussed it.  I can think of her now sitting in her kitchen, where ever she lives, and sharing her day with a new friend.  Or an old friend.

Life moved on.  And these friends or myself moved away.

There are others.  Others who I may not see daily.  Weekly.  Or even yearly.   But I know I’ll see them again because they are part of my life.   No matter where we go we know where the other is.  We know what’s important to one another.  We seem to be where we need to be for one another when we are needed.

There were other friends who were with me for awhile.  Along with the friends who are always here.  Regardless of the amount of time spent in one another’s lives, for whatever purpose needed to be filled, they all left their mark.

53 thoughts on “Passing Through And Leaving A Mark

    • Thank you Irene. 🙂 We do don’t we? It must part of the cycle of life, if we gave without receiving what would be left of us? Though I know that the positive we give, actually gives us a filling as well. How awesome is this. 🙂

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  1. Colleen, What a wonderful post. You jarred some memories here and made me look back briefly on some of my friendships. It was a nice trip down memory lane. Even if I don’t have the same level of clarity, it was still good. Thanks, Take care, Bill

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      • Colleen, I have more friends as an adult then I ever did as a kid. We moved so often and lived only briefly that I never had the chance to create any true childhood friends, and by the time the family settled in Louisville, I was only there for 4 years before joining the Navy. But of the many many childhood acquaintances I had, I wish I had the opportunity to see if they grew into real friendship. Take care, Bill

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        • That would be wonderful, to connect with some. That has to be so hard on children, moving often like that. I’m glad the world has been kind to you with friendships in your adulthood. 🙂

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  2. This was a wonderful tribute to your friends and friends in general. Friendships go far beyond their times. We take them with us, their words, their laughter and the way they made us feel when with them. Whether it be only for a moment, or several years, every friendship and interaction leaves a mark. We can only hope that we leave good ones.

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    • I like how you say that. “Friendships go far beyond their times.” Perfectly said. So true.

      I never even thought of that when I wrote when you said about hoping we leave good marks. I do hope I did.

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  3. I recently reunited with my best friend since age 8 until we went separate ways at age 18. It broke my heart because we had nothing in common…but still we imagined each other as the little third graders finding one another, both shy and filling a very empty space for each other over those years. This is a great article, it really moved me.

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    • So much to think about here Heart. The little versions of you two, separated and changed by experiences, coming back together and not being the same with one another. It makes sense, but I can understand how it would feel sad. Thank you for sharing that, and for relating with me.

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  4. I think this is so wise. My best friend has always been one or more of my sisters. We would break up every few days when we were little but now I can’t even imagine my life without them. Great post Colleen.

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  5. Colleen, I love this post. As a military spouse I have many friends in many places. I keep in touch with some of them. Others carry fond memories in my heart. I do love how the internet has made it easier to find and keep in touch with friends we have seen or talked to for years! Even if we just say “hi” once in awhile or have a chat occasionally it is nice to remember that time in our life. Our friendships truly add to the fabric of our lives. Thank you my friend!

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  6. I read slowly and carefully, each friend’s story. I felt some of your stories were really close to my own experiences. I treasured your first friend, her staying young, happy and short. It was sweet how you never wanted to come inside, as the day turned into darkness. I had a few friends from those special younger days. It was scary about the friend with the angry and strange father. Glad that you believe she overcame that situation. I would pray she did!
    I related to some of your ‘young adult’ and ‘mother’ friends. I still have one from over 30 years ago, we meet halfway from her house to mine, almost an hour to get there for each of us. She and I used to meet at a Frisch’s to share those hot fudge cakes, every Wed. at a certain time, I had 2 little ones, she was alone. She ended up marrying a man with a daughter and they have had wonderful years together. They both showed up at the hospital to see the first day’s of life of my 2nd and 3rd children. I have ‘lost’ or moved away from friends, I am like you, believe in them, think they are doing just fine. Glad to know they were part of my life. My most closest friend is in my town, so we have only a phone call that separates our times together. I met her husband at a video store, (the post is called, “Love Found in a Video Store.”) I found her husband for her… Smiles, Robin

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    • Robin these are great stories! Thank you! They really did feel similar.

      Frisch’s Hot Fudge Cakes. Good stuff. I’m so glad my stories brought out your memories and stories. And I wonder if your friend and her husband thank you every anniversary. 🙂 Maybe by watching a video? 🙂

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  7. So very touching, Chatter Master… The simple act of having friends and reflecting on their impact on you… I cherish childhood friends greatly myself. You can spill your soul with them…without chips and dip. They are always there for you.

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  8. It took me a long time to realize and accept that not all friendships go on forever. And that it’s a natural part of life. I don’t particularly like it, but that’s how it is.

    Nancy

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  9. This was wonderful, true, and kind of sad. I have a friends though, that though we may not be in constant contact, or time has passed, we are still friends. They are always welcome in my life, which is why they are friends in the first place.
    Still, when you lose touch it is sad…with modern networking sites and email, it does not happen as often as it once did. Still, this tribute is heartfelt, and reminded me of friends past and present. Well written truth, Colleen, and the kindess highlights it well…dang now I am a bit teary. Oh well, worth it. 🙂

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  10. You always go right to the heart of the matter. People in our lives do come and go, and as I think of it, there are simply seasons when we stay close and other seasons when some relationships recede in order to open space for new relationships. But you’re right, the best in friends don’t fade to meaningless, they simply wait for a new season to find its time. I’ve experienced this recently as a group of old, dear friends that go all the way back to elementary school have reunited after forty years. We giggle like school girls and I think we honestly see one another as we were in high school. It is simply joyful to be in their company. You’ve made me think of my friends tonight, Colleen. Thank you!

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  11. Your article brought back some of my own happy childhood memories with my friends…and my very first best friend was Pammy. I think of her often and can only hope and pray she is happy. Her mother was also a hoarder but more in the sense that she loved life and did not care to clean or pick up her house and the first wife and mother I knew that was a career woman – she sold real estate. Her mother was gracious, hospitable and had a smile for everyone.

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  12. I just love Mark’s comment – about our live being like a puzzle. So beautiful said.
    Friendship is a very powerful thing – but real friends is even more special.
    Friendship don’t ask questions about why haven’t you called … Friendship don’t look at the watch … friendship give freedom.
    And I love this quote about friendship.
    “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
    Helen Keller
    And I love this post, Colleen

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  13. Beautiful. I’ll likely spend the day thinking of people who were “just passing trough” and wondering whatever became of them. I won’t get much work done because of this, and I’m quite fine with that. 🙂

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  14. I enjoyed your memories. We all have people who pass through our lives for a reason. I’m glad I have you – even though virtual – on my list of friends.

    By the way, we had to say rump…butt wasn’t even tolerated by my parents. 🙂

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