Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friends

I have decided to beat the depression that have overtaken me, and part of that is discussing the things that are haunting me.

I have been struggling for a while now with the fact that I have no friends other than my bestie/sister. But life pulls us in different directions and we don't get to talk to or see each other much. Today in the Wal, I ran into a family that we used to be very good friends with. I used to babysit her children after school every day, her son and my son were inseparable. We worked on many projects together at church, carved pumpkins together at Halloween, went trick or treating together, took the boys to the George Strait concert. We would get all of the kids in the car and drive around looking at Christmas lights. We had a special night a few nights before Christmas with just our families where we would have dinner and exchange gifts. But then we moved.....15 miles away... and we haven't done anything else with them. In fact, I don't even get email or phone calls from her anymore. And the last few times that I have seen them, it has been extremely difficult to even hold a conversation with her. She is always so preoccupied with everything else, no matter where it is. And I miss her. I miss them.

Fast forward a few years. I babysat a baby named Drew. He was born 8 weeks before Baby K. I started keeping him two weeks after she was born. So I had a 1 year old, a 10 week old, and a newborn. Things were okay and I managed well until they started crawling. And then I couldn't handle it many anymore. I told his mother and told her that I would keep him until she could find somewhere else. The very next day Drew was removed from my house permanently. We lost touch with them, even though my husband works with Drew's dad. More importantly, I miss the companionship that I had with them. The mother and I spent many hours together visiting, talking, shopping, playing with the babies. Our families went out to dinner together and went to the rodeo together. Drew's parents have since divorced, the dad remarried with another child, and I have seen Drew once in the last 2 1/2 years when I ran into Dad and new wife in Wal.

Keith and I have talked often about why it is that we don't have friends. Sure we have acquaintances, but I mean true friends. I have Leigh and without her I would be lost. But we live an hour apart. We can't just meet up any time we want to. Is this just life? Keith says the only reason that I was friends with the two aforementioned women was because they had to be nice to me while I was keeping their children. But I don't believe that. Because it went more than just "being nice." We actually did stuff together without our children, and with our children outside of babysitting hours. Am I wrong to long for this kind of friendship again?

I have been considering going back to our old church. We haven't been to ours in months now. I felt needed at our old church, and thought I had developed some meaningful friendships through work in the church. There are people there that I still see and hug every time I see them. There are people there that I miss amazingly. But the fact that in three years, they have not even attempted to contact me in any way upsets me. Why do friendships matter more to me than to the other person? (I know that church is not about me. But an important part of us feeling at home in a church is our relationships with other people.)

Another example is my former best friend (she has been replaced by Leigh). I just feel like I have always been more of a friend to her than she has been to me. I bend over backwards to see her and never once have I had the same. And now she is married. I get emails with pics of her and her husband or her family, but nothing personal in a long time. I get the occassional birthday party invite. But never a phone call. And when I call, she always has a reason that she can't talk and she's very sorry and she'll call me back at so-and-so time and she never does.

I know that life pulls people in different directions. We all have responsibilities to our spouses and our children. But why when we used to make time for one another can we not do it anymore?

2 comments:

Graham Shenanigans said...

I love you Heather and I know how you feel. I even feel like you and I are losing some of the closeness we shared, not for any bitterness on either of our parts but because of the stresses of everyday life. I hope after April 15th, life will slow down a little bit and we will be able to spend more time together. I love you and will be praying for you!!

BigSis said...

Hang in there! Friends are important but I suspect you have more friends than you realize. It does get tough to stay in touch especially the older the kids get. They have more and more activities that pull us in different directions. Just reach out to one friend at a time (my space, a "thinking of you" card, invitation to lunch). Just remember that you are loved by us all! Call me if you need to talk!