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Monday, November 24, 2008

Broken teacups and friendships

Today, I ventured out for awhile to the mall to return some drapery rods that I bought at JCPenneys. While I was there waiting to be waited on, I turned and saw a lady that used to be my best friend looking at the shoes.

This lady was my closest friend for 25 years until 5 years ago when a silly misunderstanding and jealousy stepped in between us. Harsh words, silence, and then our friendship was broken. I don't remember what came between us, I know that during the that time we didn't spend much time together like we did when our kids were growing up. I think that we both neglected our relationship and I in particular, because I thought that no matter what time or distance was between us, she would always be there, even if I didn't make time for her or our friendship. But one day in July, she decided she had enough. And we no longer spoke to each other. I hurt her deeply, to the core, and even though I tried to reach out to her by email and snail mail and by phone, to make things right, to apologize, to explain, she has not responded to me.

And I miss her. Terribly.

Our boys are grown. And she was not there when the Cadet graduated from high school, when my Dad died, when things went south with our house. She didn't share the Cadet's engagement with me and she will not be there to celebrate his marriage. I was not there for her when her in-laws moved here from California or to help her with her aging Mom. I don't know what else in her life I wasn't part of.

It makes me sad.

I am ashamed to say that because I was so wrapped up in ME that I neglected a very important thing. A thing that I will never get back.

Today, while in Penneys, I wanted to go up to her. I wanted to look her in the eyes and tell her how sorry I am and ask her for forgiveness and the chance to begin our friendship again. But I didn't.


I was afraid. Afraid of what she would say to me, how she would react to me, if she would be rude (not that I wouldn't have deserved it) and tell me to leave her alone. But what if she would have reacted differently? Made small talk. Accepted an invitation to meet over coffee?

I'll never know.

So I stood there and watched her shop for shoes and then leave the store.

And my broken friendship and my broken heart is like this broken teacup. Unmendable.

Friendships are fragile...I should know, I broke mine.


Barb said...

Discovered your blog through Let's Stitch. I was touched by your post. Please don't be too hard on yourself. I myself have never learned how to maintain a long standing friendship. Maybe you will one day be able to reconnect with her.

Caroline said...

I think you should mail this letter to her. Maybe enough time has passed that some healing can happen.

Best wishes,

Karin said...

Like Caroline this letter to her. You might have been afraid to go to her in the shop but at least she will then know how you feel. It sounds honest and sincere and you might convince her by just sending this to her. Even if nothing happens then at least you have tried! Take care!

Karin in NJ (previous in Ireland :-)

Jennifer said...

Try not to get too down or feel too guilty about what happened. There have been people that have come in and out of my life, friends and even family members that I have been really, really close to that are no longer a part of my life. Sometimes, I think, people are only meant to be a part of your life for a little while, then you each go in you own directions.

Celaina said...

Your story could be mine except its been over 30 years and I haven't seen my best friend since. She lives two days away. I know her email but I haven't the courage to write. Rejection is the issue isn't it? Hearing harsh words from a beloved friend is a risk. Courage. A misunderstanding. She was getting married and we were too poor to get a gift. She didn't have a wedding and we lived 10 hours away. I was pregnant and ill with our first child and we were digging in the couch for change to pay an unexpected bill. I was too embarrassed to tell her we were broke. We did everything together and I have missed her so much. Courage.