Tomorrow is my birthday. The older I get, the more moody and reflective I become. I suppose this happens to everyone. I think of birthdays of the past, and the good times and bad times I associate with each memorable birthday. I think about my friends- life long friends, friends I have made as an adult, and those that over the years have drifted away from me.
I have a friend that I haven't spoken to in about 3 years give or take. Today I feel his absence, not because he always called me on my birthday, but because he notoriously forgot my birthday. He forgot a lot of people's birthdays and I used to remember them for him. We became friends the summer I graduated from high school. One can't just erase a person like that from your life. We went through a lot of stuff together, all of the dramas and adventures of your late teens, twenty-somethings and into your thirties. We experienced an amazing amount of laughter and shared heartaches as well. He was part of my family. To make a very long story short, he got married and his wife was not comfortable with him having a close female friend. I know that is a very tricky situation. I am lucky to have married a man that had no problem with me having a close male friend. I was open from the beginning of my relationship that I had a male friend that was one of the key players in my life. I know that the dynamic is different when a man has a close female friend, and it can be a bit of a double standard.
A few years into their marriage, an ugly situation came about that led to our not speaking. We talked one day and then that was it. I haven't heard his voice since. The break-up of our friendship started a huge transition period for me. I started a new position at work that took me out of the office where I had worked for 8 years. I was in the early days of my second pregnancy. I went through a bit of a depression and really mourned the loss of the friendship. It was the first time I had broken up with a friend as an adult. As a kid, you pick up your toy and play with someone else and get over it. I wish it was that easy now. I was sad and I was angry. I placed a lot of blame on his wife. Time has given me some perspective. I know that he had to make the decision that was best for his marriage, and I do not fault him for that. I still have dreams where he makes an appearance, not as many as I used to, but it still happens. I yell at him a lot in those dreams and ask him why he is there. The dreams rarely contain any laughter and that makes me sad. I miss his laugh. He has the best laugh when he really gets going. To hear a fit of giggles come out of such a big guy, man, it was the best.
I feel like too much time has passed now. He doesn't know anything about my kids, or what has been happening with my family and vice versa. We are separated by a sea of hurt feelings and time. About a year ago, I was cleaning out my closet and found old letters and cards from him. I threw them away. I didn't have any happy feelings tied to them any longer. I don't even know what I would say if we did talk again, and it is probably best that we do not for the sake of his relationship.
But I do miss him from time to time.