Friday, July 06, 2007

A Parting of Ways

It’s too bad friendships don’t come with the lifetime warranty of a Midus muffler or at least the 50,000 miles of a Michelin tire. It would be great if there were some test you could subject them to up front that would show their strength and their existing flaws, much as we do with gemstones. But instead we must simply rely on the commitment of two people to make a relationship work.

Most friendships come about as two people find themselves on a similar path and realize they are going in the same direction. It’s usually a more interesting trip to go in someone else’s company than to walk alone. But then sometimes they have different opinions about how to ford a stream or go over a bump in the road and their paths simply diverge.

I’m struggling this week with a friendship that seems to be unraveling by virtue of a lack of interest in repairing it. The air is running out of this tire with no attempt to patch the hole. I can’t get the other party to even come to the bargaining table.

It’s not as though I have no other friends. I treasure friendships that are almost as old as I am that at this time appear to have a lifetime warranty, but at the same time I will sorely miss this particular one that has been so important to me over the past few years. I have learned so much from this person.

As I see us going down separate paths with not so much as even a goodbye, I will try to remember the fun we had together and not the seemingly insignificant thing that was the catalyst for the end of our friendship.


Blogger Kristin said...

Breaking up with friends is always so strange, especially when there isn't even a break up.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Yep, sometimes we only journey with a person for a short while - sometimes much shorter than we would like.

It is always hard for me because I prefer very long term friendships.

For me, the principledistinctionbetween a friendship and a relationship is that friends journey together, but relationships forge a life together.

10:39 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Barbara- Watching friendships fall apart is very difficult- yet, it happens so often- for no reason, it seems.
I left the following on Annelisa's site after the death of her friend. But, here it is now for you- because the loss of a friendship is a death too.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

Know that seasons just change, whether we want them to or not.
Cheers! dear friend.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I agree completely.

Richard -- To me a friendship is just a particular type of relationship. I too prefer the ones that never end, even though people may move apart.

Gewels -- The poem is beautiful and couldn't be more true. It makes me teary-eyed. Our electronic friendship means so much to me even though we have yet to meet!

2:56 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Ive lost some friends...
I always liked the Sesame Street song that goes sumpthin like this

"What does it mean to be a friend?
Someone you can do stuff with time and again
someone to play hide and seek with
Even if it takes all week
That what it means to be a friend"


3:36 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I would definitely count you as a friend even though we haven't had the pleasure to meet. I'm touched this week with the people who have reached out to me as I wallowed around in all sorts of self-pity. The Internet has caused friendship to be redefined in some ways. Hearts can beat together across cyberspace!

I'm just about ready to re-enter the world of Blog reading in a more sane way, but these few days of being by myself have been good for me.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Oh, B, it's good to still find you here, talking about life. I hope you post more often than you think you might...

Having a relationship fall apart is never easy and yet the sorrow keeps us focused on joy if we keep going forward.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- I'm trying to write as I feel inspired, but today is a blank page so far.

As for my friendship that seems to be slipping away, I'm still attempting to talk to the other person so we can at least verbalize our feelings. Closure in one way or the other is always better than ambiguity.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I can't believe how similar our posts were on this! I understand totally how you feel. Some people aren't into keeping friends and working at it. I am so it hurt when one of theses friends cut me off very abruptly and accused me of doing a few things I definitely hadn't, or at least never intended to have taken in a negative way, and then sent me that longer version of what Gewells sent you. Although the poem is nice, I felt awful receiving it because it felt like a notice in writing, terminating a contract called friendship, and I thought it seemed a bit harsh and unnecessary.

The whole thing I could so liken to a stray cat, and it was the impetus for the poem and was really what it was about.

Anyway, good luck with your friend and be open to repair if she/he wants to do that.

3:03 PM  

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