Somebody asked me if I knew you.
A million memories flashed through my mind, but I just smiled and said I used to…
Can you remember how you met your best friend, was there a flash of lightning in the sky or did the boom of thunder signify the start of a beautiful friendship? Maybe it was a shy ‘hello’ at the first day of school, a passing compliment, or the hand of a stranger that reached out in comfort.
Have you had the same best friend for years, with no thought of it every changing, or have you had a multitude of besties during different times in your life. Do you now have much in common with that first buddy that gained the title ‘best’?
For that matter what qualifies someone as being best? Is it the amount of time you have spent together, or the quality of that time? Is it that not a cross word has passed your lips, or are you always debating different views with the confident knowledge that whatever is said there is always a hug, a handshake or a look between you that says ‘ I have your back.’
I remember the name and can probably bring to mind the face of my very first ‘best friend.’ She lived next door to a shop my parents owned and we would by default hang out together. As silently as she entered my life she slipped out of it. I have no memory of why, what happened but Vivian Bentley disappeared out of my life.
I have very good memories of a camping holiday in Wales with Juliet my next best friend, and her family. Halfway through the holiday Juliet came out of the communal toilets and told me that she had seen my name in there. Horrified I entered the building thinking my name had been written in graffiti on the wall, to find it was actually a letter that my parents had sent to the campsite, in case I was homesick… or more likely because my Mum was missing me. Little did I know, that idyllic holiday in Wales would lead to the loss of my friendship with Juliet, soon after our carefree holiday, her family relocated to Wales and she and I lost touch.
Fiona saw me through my first night at Brownies to High School graduation. We literally spent hours each week together, whether it was at Brownies then Guides, singing in the choir, or walking to and from; everywhere. We laughed, dreamed and fell in love together, then so slowly without any conscious thought we drifted apart.
I have been more active in the destruction of other friendships. A friendship that started with a throw away comment while walking our children to school led to a friendship that enveloped both our families, to the exclusion of others. They became the family I had chosen for myself, not an angry word was spoken between us, and we were as close as anyone could ever be. Then when hearts were broken, cruel words were spoken and an explosion went off splintering and scattering the fragments of friendship to the ends of earth, like humpty dumpty, never to be put together again.
Then there is the friend that I held so close to my heart through the years, remembering with very much affection special times we had spent together. The friend that I was able to meet again recently after years of being separated by fate. To find that our memories did not correspond that I had inflated and elevated our friendship to an unreal status of best.
What must be wrong with me? How have I managed to lose friendships that meant so much? Allowing them to fall through my hands, like grains of sand on a beach, where they have been dragged away by the unending ebb and flow of the tide.
It is undeniable, yes, I have lost many good friends through the years, due to neglect, like flowers that lack water, due to misunderstanding and stubborn pride, or just because time was always going to come between us.
However, as I look around me I see that I am blessed, because I do have friends, best friends, friends that I call family, friends that remember when and friends that look forward to…
We’ll be friends forever won’t we Pooh? Asked Piglet
Even longer. Pooh answered.