Make new friends, but keeep the old...

I didn’t keep any of my childhood friends. No – wait. That makes it sound like I threw them out one spring while going through the closets. What I mean is that I didn’t do a good job of staying in touch. I have not talked to anyone I grew up with in many years. And, it makes me sad.

I only had a few very close friendships when I was a teenager: Erin, Annette, and Rachel were my closest of friends. Then there were others that I spent time with, but our relationships did nothing to compare to how I was with these three.

I met Erin at the youth group of our church in 7th grade. I don’t even remember meeting her – I just know that we were inseparable from almost the beginning. We were always talking on the phone, babysitting together, spending the night with each other, or getting in trouble at church for writing notes to each other. I cannot think of a week going by from 7th grade until graduation where I didn’t talk to Erin. And we didn’t even go to the same school. Erin and I started to drift apart after high school, and just never recovered. I got married – she was in my wedding. She got married, I was in her wedding. But things just were not the same. We were not the same. She has since had at least one child. I have had two and have two more on the way. I have been remarried – I have no idea who she is married to now. My mother has died – I have no idea who in her family is still around, or what they are up to. There was a time when I was closer to her family than my own…her mother Rosie and sisters Ann and Becky. I wonder how they are now… I have sent cards, and even once she sent one back, but those times we were close are just *gone* and we have moved on.

I met Annette while working the summer before my Junior year at the mall. She worked in the shoe department and I worked in domestics and fine jewelry of a big ole’ department store. We too were instant friends. Her father passed away once Christmas eve, which left her alone in her dad’s house at 18 and we seemed to make the best of that horrible situation... I remember spending days upon end over there planning our futures, talking about sex, working out, watching movies, going shopping. I even lived with her for a while before getting my first apartment when my mother kicked me out of the house (a story for another time). We were good friends just a short time longer than Erin and I were, but that too faded away. Once I was married and had children I guess my priorities changed…I didn’t spend my free time with the girls anymore, I spent it with my husband. My mom was quite sick and I know that took much of my time too.

Rachel and I met in 5th grade band class. We both played clarinet. We were not in the same 5th grade regular classes but we had similar sick/silly senses of humor and we just ‘clicked’. We lived fairly close to each other, and always went to the same schools through high school. We would take many of the same classes to spend more time together, and even double-dated a few times our Senior year (prom included). We were not as close as Erin, Annette and I were, but we had a very special friendship. We were around each other all day, and she personally made high school bearable for me. We both went away to Indiana University and she stuck with me through some pretty horrible college situations. Without her, I would have been lost and lonely. Rachel was also in my wedding, but that was really the last time we talked to each other or saw each other. Some very strange things happened at my reception, and I never really came to terms with them. My god parents were out in the parking lot and saw Rachel and another girl (her date?) making out. It was a little more than I could take at the time, although now I wish I had not let it bother me. I should not have felt threatened or strange by that situation, but I let it pull us apart. One more friend gone.

Somehow I let those precious friendships slip away. I sure do miss those girls – Erin, Annette, and Rachel. I hope they are doing well wherever they are…