May 10, 2015

Couting the footprints and always coming up short. Or something like that.

Dear friend,

I'm sorry. 

You have many names. Maybe we knew each other from high school or college, the block we grew up on or my first jobs. Maybe we're family. At some point we knew each other, very well. You were my confidants, my soul mates for a time, my best friends or beloved relatives. You were all such important parts of my past and who I am today and yet we no longer speak. Whatever connection we had was lost over the years for any number of reasons, nearly all of which are my fault. 
As the sun goes down on my very first mother's day I am reflecting on you, the women I have loved and lost over the years. I found out one of you, one of my very best friends from years ago is expecting her first baby and my first thought was how much I miss her and wish I were a part of this. I missed her when my girls were born too. I debated texting her, not even sure she had the same number and decided I had nothing to lose by congratulating her. She responded and wished me a happy mother's day too. 

I started reeling at the thought of all of you, the women who helped mold me into who I am today and how much I wish I had put more time, love and energy into our relationships. No matter how it happened, I lost you. Some I just stopped talking to when you or I moved away and never reconnected. Some of you I had a falling out with or you hurt me and I overreacted. A few, I hurt very badly with my words or actions, often multiple times before you were done with me. Two or three, by the grace of whoever is running this show, have given me chance after chance to be a friend and are still by my side. Tonight I vow to never let those few go. I refuse to let the loss of so many of you be in vain. If nothing else, I must learn from it in your honor.

And learn I have. You each taught me something about life, relationships and myself, even if it was while you walked away from me.  Now, as we are all in various stages of life with marriage, children, careers, etc. I wonder what it would be like to walk this journey with you. I know it's unrealistic, life happens, everyone loses touch with people, but what if I could change it, go back and fix whatever I did or didn't do, said or didn't say. How different would my life be, my children's lives, even, if my childhood best friend and I still hung out? Or If I had even just an acquaintanceship with the best friend who lives 5 minutes away but I haven't spoken to in two years? What if I was still so close with the incredible woman whose children I nannied for three years? Or the aunt who was always one of my closest friends and an ally in my (sometimes) crazy family? 

I doubt I'll ever get the chance to know but I do know this: today was filled with such joy as I relished in the celebration of motherhood, so grateful to have been given the chance to do it not just once but twice. My heart was full, but also heavy with the longing to share this joy with those friends and loved ones with whom I no longer speak. I wonder what kind of moms you are or will be, if our children would get along and play while we hung out, sipping cocktails and talking about our lives, much like I do with my sister and best friend in the whole world (both whom it would destroy me to ever lose). I wonder what kind of advice the more seasoned moms among you would give me now that I'm doing it myself. I wonder, especially tonight, if you ever feel like you need a friend in this journey, someone who understands and will listen to you. Do you know that if you ever reached out I would be there in a second, so regretting that I wasn't able, or perhaps willing, to do it sooner?

I wonder if you know how much I still love you, how often I think of you and that I am constantly sending you love.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. There was a reason why each of you came into my life and I know now that most often it was to teach me a lesson. I am who I am today because of the part each and every one of you played. Although some you were only meant to be in my life for a short while, others  I wish I knew how to rebuild the bridge and reclaim the friendship, especially as I have finally learned how hard it is to find people you really connect with when you're old and a mom. And how much it sucks to lose the ones who do care. It is a lesson I swear to uphold and teach to my girls every day, hoping to god they don't have to learn the hard way like their mother did.

It's a long list and for that I am even sadder but to you, R, E, G, H, J, S, K, R, C, R, M, J, K, J and L, I am sorry, I miss you, I love you and I wish you all the best that life has to offer. And I thank you for the role you played in mine for it led me to be able to be the best mom I can be to my little girls.


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