What’s The Reason?

Last night I watched the movie “Sisters” with my husband. It’s not often that we get a chance to watch an adult movie together and we were both in the mood for some mindless comedy. I am also a huge fan of both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I enjoyed the movie enough, yet something about the last scene of the movie struck a sensitive chord with me.

This scene, which extended into the rolling credits, sees both women dancing with each other, obviously havin a good time just goofing off and enjoying the best parts of their friendship with each other. Watching this reminded me of the chapters in each of their books where they talk about the development, importance, and significance of their friendship with each other. I was reminded that I don’t have this kind of friendship or relationship with another woman. It makes me sad to realize that. 

This realization was significant for me at this moment. Over the past few days I have been having more dreams and pervasive thoughts about my old friend Kay, whom I’ve mentioned a few times here on this blog. While she is often on my mind more than I would like to admit, I don’t know why dreams of her and I becoming friends again seem to come back in waves and bounds and overwhelm me, with little explanation. Sine the middle of last week, I have probably dreamt about her 3 times and then spent the proceeding days fixated on why they are plaguing me, or what those dreams mean.

This week, however, has been different from the previous times I’ve thought about her. This time I have an overwhelming feeling that I should be acting on my thoughts: reaching out to her and somehow telling her how she’s been on my mind. I almost feel like there is some kind of “force” that is telling me that she needs to hear from me. 

But why?

When I am sad about how our friendship failed, I try to find solace in pictures, quotes, and memes that circulate through social media: Those ones that encourage us to let go of the people in our lives who hurt us, or to recognize when people are causing distress in our life and decide to remove them (as I try to understand why she ended the friendship), or just simply accepting that the sun sets on some relationships even when we don’t always know why.  So, I don’t understand why, after so long, I still feel compelled to reach out. What good will it do?

Besides likely lead to more rejection, what could possibly come from this? What do I think is going to happen?  It’s not like anything will ever be close to what it was before – it’s not like I will ever have the valuable closeness and sister-like relationship that I saw in its purest form at the end of the movie last night….

However, I can’t stop thinking about the one time, far back at the beginning of our mentoring relationship, when I took a step out of my comfort zone and sent her a letter of kindness and support. I feared, for weeks, that I had steeps over a boundary; yet it turned out that my letter was the exact offer of kindness and compassion that she needed in her moment of struggle.  It was that letter that really paved the way for what Our friendship did become. Are these dreams and thoughts just some calling that she needs this kind of compassion now?

I don’t know.  It’s doesn’t make sense to me. And mostly, I am just confused about what I am thinking about and why I feel so compelled to reach out to someone who hurt me so much an showed such little compassion to me in my time of need. 

Family is The Only Rock

“It’s a good thing to have the props pulled out from under us occasionally.  It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.”

~Madeleine L’Engle

 

From The Old Blog, November 11, 2014:

 The only rocks I have live 500 Km away from me.  And while I only have a small umber of supportive rocks, at least if I had stayed where I was, I would still have the sand too.  Either way, The people whom I predicted would be my rocks – well, they have been my rocks.

Bedside Flowers

Bedside Flowers – A photo from last year’s post of some flowers a good friend left on a bedside table for me when I went to visit her.  I am still good friends with this wonderful woman.  While she is not technically my family, I would still consider her one of my “rocks.”

The theme of the past few days really seems to contradict what I wrote in this small segment from last year’s post.  The irony of this whole situation (and possibly the utility of this November exercise) is that the things people I thought were my rocks, really are not my rocks.  Those are the people who live 500Km away from me.  While there are some of those people who are still in my life, albeit in a smaller sense, I have come to realize that there are more important people, people who live so much closer to me, who are my real rocks.  The only real rocks, which will always be there for me, and which have supported me this past year, are my family: my husband and my two kids.  I love them.

 

Surprising Discovery

After cleaning out my closet last week, I was excited to show my husband the progress I had made. He looked around and seemed less than impressed, stating that he didn’t think it looked that different. He was about to turn and walk out until something caught his eye. he pointed to a small brown box in the top corner of my closet: “What’s that?”
I sighed a deep and powerful sigh. “That box,” I started, “needs to go in the garbage…”

Where do I start with that box? How do I tell you what’s in that box? How can I express the personal and powerful associations of that box without bringing you back on a three year journey into the past?

I had a friend – I’ll call her Kay – and everything that she ever was to me is in that box.

Kay was my best friend for a short while – we were close and intense and intimate in a way that I’ve rarely ever been with a friend. It was mutual, she was special, and I loved her.

Before she was my friend, she was my mentor – personally and professionally she inspired and encouraged me more than anyone had before.

Before she was my mentor, she was my physician – she delivered both of my babies and she was kind, compassionate, and caring in a way that many physicians lack today.

Through all of those stages, she became a beacon of “something” in my life and there was not a day that went by in 5 years that I didn’t think of her for some reason or another.

I don’t know how else to summarize my relationship with Kay.

A year ago my life fell apart and I struggled deeply to keep my sopping head bobbing above the water. Kay tried to be there for me as best as she could. Unfortunately, I was sinking more than I thought and I must have been bringing her down with me. One day Kay started pulling away from me, and so I grabbed on harder. I was at the lowest point that I had every been in my life, yet the day finally came where she let me go. In one short and succinct email she told me everything I didn’t want to hear: She can’t be my support, she can’t be my friend, she can’t be my mentor. She hasn’t talked to me since.

After that day, I took everything I had from or about her and I put it in a box. But, I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away – I wasn’t ready to say good-bye – so I placed it in the top corner of my closet instead. And for 8 months, there it remained… for me to glance at every time I went into my closet.

“You can throw it in the garbage, please?” I asked my husband with a tone of authority. It was time, I decided. He wanted to see what was in it first, to make sure there wasn’t anything worth keeping (even though I assured him there was nothing). To my surprise, however, there was one thing I felt drawn to keep: Right on the top of the box was a small glass picture frame with a 4×6 photo of Kay and I after our first 10K race. Before our falling out, I displayed that picture proudly on a shelf in my closet. While I haven’t seen it at all in over 8 months, I was surprised to feel a sense of comfort and satisfaction in looking at the picture. I placed it off to the side while my husband and I filtered through everything else. Eventually I put everything back in the box, including cards of kind words and letters of encouragement, and I watched my husband carry it away to the garbage. I took the framed picture of us at the race and I placed it back on the shelf where it sat 8 months ago.

I’ve forgiven her.  

Our friendship is over and it will never come back.

It still hurts when I think about “what could have been.”

But I’ve made peace with it all.

She was an important part of my life for a long time.

We accomplished wonderful things together, and I can’t change that.  

It’s time to remember the good.