I was five or six years old, we don't speak day to day, but the times in my life when I have needed them, they have been there. The first time I remember losing a friend, I was around twelve.
My family had moved to Chicago for my dad to find work. We had settled in, a nice old neighborhood, a good school, a sweet church. I was singing in a folk group at school, singing at church, had experienced my first kiss, I thought life was pretty good. But, my parents missed Alabama and so we moved back home. Just as I had let go of missing my southern friends, I was back with them, and then I was missing my northern friends. But things settled down, back at my old school, with friends I had known my whole life. One day after school, someone called my mom.
My friend Eric who had a motor bike had been killed in an accident. That's when I begin to really sit up and take notice about friendships. Some of my friends that I had known for years, moved away. Some just outgrew me. I was a slow bloomer. I went to high school and made more new friends and drifted away from some of my old friends. Through the passing of the years, I lost more friends to death, to moves, to the changing of our lives. But you know it still hurts to lose a friend, no matter the reason.
As my careers blossomed and changed, I realized that I was working in areas where friends were coming and going faster than ever. Maybe it is a trend/sign of our changing world. I still have friends who have been me with for years, but there have been many that have come into my life for only short moments. The caring, the joy, the friendship has been intense and the loss has been just as intense. I think about many of them often, wonder how they are, what is going on in their lives. Sometimes through the years I have tried to reach some of them, but to no avail.
Life is strange, and friendships, no matter how long or how short, are magical gifts. I have lived a charmed life I suppose, there have been so few that I have met who have "vexed my spirit".
Most, have given me love, joy, kindness and just the incredible gift of allowing me into their lives.
I hope that during their life time, some where down the road, they think of me and just for a fleeting moment, there's joy.