True friends are like diamonds
Precious and rare
False friends are like Autumn leaves
and then there are short term, true friendships that brighten our day and enrich our lives!
Many years ago now- seems like a lifetime away, I had a dad to daughter conversation with my dad about life, friendships and values. I loved those moments with my dad- he was so clear in the way he saw life and could talk about it in such an uncomplicated way. Dear dad, I still need your wisdom- miss you!
As some of my BLOGS show, I am a blessed person with many friends. Looking back I cannot even begin to count the number of friendships I have been privileged to have been part of. There was a time however I would become unsure and/or sad when a friendship faded or even more dramatic, totally disappeared off my radar. Not due to a row, discord or whatever, but just faded away quietly and ebbed into oblivion. That used to cause me concern.
Questions like ' have I upset/hurt/neglected' the person in question? What had I 'done' to have caused this friendship to dissolve into thin air. Wasn't I perky/chirpy/caring/sharing enough? It kept me quite occupied I can tell. So that's why, when dad and mum came to stay a while, I spent some quality time with dad and started this conversation.
"Dad, you remember Sarina? She used to pop over on and off when you stayed here the last couple of times you and mum were here. They were at the BBQ dinner, remember? She was the one whose son had all those issues at school. He loved coming over to play with the kids after school. Was a real happy chappy then. I have know her for ages, we got on so well and shared many a wine and tear when those moments presented themselves. Lately it feels as if she is avoiding me or something. Haven't seen or heard from her for ages. I know she popped in less because she started working part-time but still. I have racked my brains to discover if there was something to which I could put it down to, but I can't think of anything. I thought we were friends".
I could almost hear the cogs in dad's brain whirring. He looked in the distance and his expression let me to think that he was thinking about his own experiences with friends- remembering faces and moments.
He didn't look sad or serious, just relaxed and prepared for the discussion or rather his wise words which would answer my question. I KNEW dad KNEW what to tell me.... what the answer was I needed to hear.
In a nutshell and not as poetic, dad said that people come and go, some stay- some pop in and out of our lives and some are the wallpaper that make our lives feel comfortable and steady- well that last bit was poetic, good on you dad!). Some you wish they would be round forever, some are and that's great - some can't leave soon enough! Yet we are a fickle folk, and move on as the need or urge arises. Just like grazing cattle always looking for a better or more lush patches in the paddock.
As I reflected on past friendships with dad various names passed my lips, I had to admit to his wisdom being true. There had been many lovely, caring, sharing, happy and sad people in my life who I had lost contact with over the years and with whom I had shared much. Their 'leaving' me hadn't harmed me, but their presence had enriched me. Their experiences, the conversations, their stories had left their mark, like a photo in an album or a page of text in a good book. That was the reward for their presence in my life.
I recently had cause to reflect back on this conversation with dad. A friend decided she didn't ' need' me as friend anymore and cut all ties- quite abruptly and in a manner I hadn't experienced before. It wasn't pleasant. It affected me like it had all those years ago - but in hindsight I realised, she acted in a manner that fitted her pattern. It wasn't personal- this was how she acted when people got too close. We had had so many discussions about this very issue of hers. Or should I say, this is what I lent her my ear for- as she had a need to tell her story.
Her feeling of inadequacy and rejection she experienced in her childhood had left her feeling unworthy. I hope and pray she will have the courage and strength to stay long enough in a friendship that will bring her peace and happiness, that she doesn't feel threatened and that she realise - she is WORTH IT!