This is especially true for friends I made over 21 years ago -- back when I was Jacquie, and not Don's wife or Ashley's mom. The really true friends who know me as me, and I know them as them. The ones who knew my dreams and my likes and passions before life changed them, or life simply got in the way. They are the ones when I spend time with them (either online or in person) I feel half my age -- and, quite frankly, I like that! The ones where months can pass between conversations, yet we still pick up and laugh.
Recently, though, I've had to accept some of these friends have moved on and I am not a part of their lives anymore. Part of me is happy for them -- both of our lives are just fine, in each case there has been no trauma, just life getting busy with families. The selfish part of me mourns the loss of our friendships.
The signs have been on the wall a long time (hey, I wasn't called "Clueless" in Kappa for nothing). The time between messages and visits grow further apart. The visits are forced. They are easy to cancel when something else comes up. They take longer and longer to reschedule. When they do happen, they are cut short.
Still I remember these friendships. I remember smiling and laughing with my friends. I remember sharing in their milestones. I smile when their names pop up in my in-box.
I have to let it go.
As I was talking to Ashley about this post, she said even at her age she realizes she is moving apart from some of her friends, too. Rather than mourning her old friends slipping into the land of fond acquaintances, though, she is making new friends and having fun.
As Elsa says "the past is in the past."
Growing up isn't easy, even at my age.