Blog Reader Louise Swan sent me an email, “The post about old friends [But Keep the Old] and the comments got me thinking.” The result is a two-part blog post. Welcome Louise.
A Tale of Two Friendships
by Louise Swan
Each decade has brought new friendships to me. Over the years, I have accumulated several “best friends”. Now, well into my 8th decade, it seems to be time to say good-bye to some of them.
Part 1: the first decade, the first friendship.
My first best friend was my opposite in so many ways. She was musical, conservative, and shy. I was none of the above. She had sisters. I did not. I had a brother. She did not.
We were so different. Perhaps that was why we hit it off so well. We were in grammar school, Sunday School, Girl Scouts, and summer camp together. Our mothers were truly best friends. Mom was her youngest sister’s Godmother. Our families went to the same Lake Club for summer weekends.
Our lives diverged over the years. We attended different junior high schools. In senior high school, I was seriously into dating. She was not. We had developed different circles of friends. While we continued to see each other at camp and Sunday School, we weren’t as close.
Although we settled in different states, we kept in touch, seeing each other over the decades. Each time we met, it was as if the intervening years disappeared. Our lives continued to be dissimilar. We both married. She stayed married. I did not. I had a daughter. She did not. However, the connection remained. She was my daughter’s Godmother.
Sadly, five years ago, she disappeared into Alzheimer’s disease. While I stayed in touch with her family, she was, in effect, gone.
Last Spring, she died. I was stunned by the effect that had on me. She wasn’t just gone, she was gone, gone. There were no more chapters, the book had slammed shut. My brain knew our friendship had ended when she no longer knew who I was. Evidently, my heart did not.
It wasn’t just the end of a friendship but closure of a whole part of my life. She still lives in my heart and always will. But she is gone.
Tomorrow. Part 2: the second decade, the second friendship..