Monday, October 18, 2010


What makes people friends? What makes friendships last and what makes them end?

I have had one friend (besides my sister and mom, who I consider my closest friends) since I was about 4 years old. She and I met and bonded over forbidden cheese crackers and have been best friends ever since. That means we have been friends for about 30 years now and we are as close as ever. We often will go weeks without e-mailing, months without a phone call and years without seeing each other (we live many states apart now), but when we do talk or see each other, it is like no time has past. We are totally ourselves and completely comfortable with each other. I know that she is my forever friend.

Other than this lifetime friendship, I have had a rocky road with friends. I seem to cycle through friends; they come and go, come and go and I always hate to see it when a friendship falls away. I don't tend to have blowup fights that end these friendships, they just fade away. My mother once said that people come into your life for as long as you need them and when you don't need them anymore they will move on. She was referring to romantic love at the time, but maybe that applies here too.

That being said, I am cautious when it comes to putting myself out there and trying to be friends with someone. If friendships are a give and take (like any good relationship should be), I find myself to most often be the giver and less of the receiver and I don't really mind that because I love to help others and am most happy when I am able to help or be of use or am making someone else happy.

The problem with this is that once the friend no longer is in need of what I can offer, or when I determine I can no longer provide what they need, the friendship is over. So, I am scared to reach out, and thus have very few people I can call on when I need help or when I need to talk or when I want to grab a coffee with someone.

So, here are my friends, the oldest of which I have already told you about.

Now I have Lou, who had the misfortune of dating my brother, but in the process gained two sister friends and we have been able, for the most part, to remain friends after their relationship ended. Lou had a rough time when she and Smug-Bro split and lost her way for a while. I had to step back and let her find her path again and once she did, we have fallen back into a good, solid friendship. I value her. She is smart and funny and did I mention smart and beautiful and did I say smart already? I love her dearly.

Then I have Kelly who became my friend during school and who I was there for at the end of her marriage and who was there for me at the beginning of mine. However, we have moved onto very different paths now. She is living the care-free single life, bar hopping and late nights while I have settled into poopy diapers and early nights with not a drink in sight. I was hurt when she was not there for my baby shower or to support me while my daughter fought for strength in the hospital, and she has only seen my sweet smug-baby twice in the 8 months she has been in this world. However, she is busy and I have no doubt that she loves me. I don't know if this friendship will fade or if our paths may once again be in sync, but I love her dearly as well.

I recently met Lynn when we discovered our babies were due on the same day and, as it happened, we both ended up going more than a week over our due dates and had our babies within a day of each other AND were in the same delivery room (just a day apart). Unfortunately, our symbiosis didn't end there and her baby too was in the NICU for a while. We are very like minded when it comes to parenting and we talk a lot about the other people we encounter and what decisions we are currently wrestling with. Our friendship is very young and only time will tell if it will stand the test of time, but I do hope that our babies will be able to grow up together - after all they seemed to want to be together all along!

Now, this is the current source of my pain and the main reason for this post. Bee is godmother to my daughter and I am godmother to her son. We bonded when we first met and our husbands also bonded and I would say that I am almost as much friends with her husband as I am with her. I lover her son with all my heart and we had the honor of keeping him for several days about a year ago and I loved the routine of taking him to school, picking him up, doing homework and having dinner all together. Bee owns her own business and I believe so much in what she is doing that I wanted to help and spent many hours on data entry, brainstorming ideas to increase business and the like.

The problem is that I have been trying to get together with her for about 3 months now and all my phone messages, e-mails and texts have gone unanswered. Smug-Hub has been in contact with her husband and he tells us that they are so busy with work that they hardly have time to eat or sleep and that Bee has been often sick with one head cold after another. So, do I take it on faith that she is not trying to move on from this friendship? Or, do I stop calling, take the hint and let her go? It would hurt me deeply for this friendship to end, but how can you make someone be your friend? I find it hard to believe that I have done something to offend her, and just as hard to believe that she is so busy that a text message letting me know she is alive is too much.

My heart hurts...

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