Frontline Friends…

 

It hasn’t been that long, and yet it feels like a lifetime. My family and I moved from New Jersey to Arizona nearly six years ago. We all left huge hunks of our hearts behind as we said goodbye to friends who were more like family. Friends who we’d known all of our adult lives. Friends whose children never knew life without each other. We entered a new phase of our lives, where we had a blank slate on which to draw new pathways and possibilities. And new friends.

You might think it’s difficult for children to assimilate to a new environment and create new long-lasting friendships with those who have already formed tight bonds with others, but let me say this. Being an adult, in a new environment, surrounded by new people ain’t no picnic either.

I have been fortunate, however, that after about a year or so of being my own best friend, and calling characters from novels my circle of friends, I can now say I have connected with some extraordinary women. All thanks go to my desire to be an author and joining RWA. Island no more, I came to find women that I could laugh with, cry with, plot with, and scream with. Women who understood the woman I had become. I bless everyday that I wake up, knowing that these women “get” me and like me, warts and all.

And yet, there’s something to be said for the long-standing friendship I’ve left behind. No one knows me in and out like she. I can pick up the phone and the conversation begins where we left off. She’s the first one I think of to share news of my life.

So what of my new friends, so dear to my heart? Well, I consider them my FRONTLINE FRIENDS, too. They are the first ones I think of to tell exciting news, to share a laugh or a private joke. The ones I think of to plan and scheme wonderful things. But there is a rub here. They may be MY frontline friends, but I am not theirs. You see, at this age, these women have had years to establish long-lasting friendships like the ones I left behind. And  although I am thought of frequently, there are times when I am, shall we say, an afterthought. It’s a harsh realization, to be sure. But it’s a mature realization that I must cope with. And it doesn’t have to hurt my heart beyond the realization point. I know that, given time, our relationships will grow stronger, and I may very well become a frontliner for them.

All I know is that I cherish those friends I’ve left behind and cherish the new ones I’ve made. So, have you thought about this idea at all? Do you have FRONTLINE friends of your own? Are you one to someone?

Much love,
Deena

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jaxs says:

    Hey D,
    Funny thing is this same effect happens when you are stricken with fate that leaves you in a shape less than you were before she struck. Even though I’ve not moved physically, becoming a quadriplegic at 41 kicked me out of the workforce and into the healthcare system instead. At first, many of my close work “friends” visited but then as their lives became too busy, I saw less and less of them.
    Some of them never even came to visit despite the fact that we were all in the same town! These were not casual friends but close friends of almost 10 years. After awhile, it sure became clear who my really true friends really were. But even they have busy lives and it isn’t always easy to fit me into their schedules. I cannot just up & run out the door for a quick lunch as getting out is a lengthy proposition especially right after my MVA. As my health failed, less & less friends would show up to visit. I theorize that some of them just couldn’t face me in my condition having known me as the energizer bunny who worked around the clock, they feared if this could happen to me, then what about them?
    I’m not bitter, maybe a bit sad about some of those lost friends, but I get it. We all worked in the same field and saw accidents day in and day out but never thought it would hit one of us. The friends that have stuck by me are obviously friends for life and thank goodness these have always been my closest friends. They too are busy but if I call and say I need to see them, they come right over!
    My new friends I’ve made in my new winter home and some of them are amazing! I’ve adopted a couple as new family members and even brought them to Canada to spend Christmas with my family. It was a treat for them to experience all that snow.
    I miss some of my old friends but I cannot change how they think and feel about illness. My husband has been a friend since I was 14 and thank goodness for him but he’s not a woman and doesn’t get all.
    When I feel well enough, I chat online with my newest friends of all. Those I’ve met online and who know me as I am now. Yes, 3-4/7 days I’m sick in bed unable to do anything but on those good days, the Internet is a great place to reach out to others. Life throws us all challenges and my biggest challenge is to maintain my health while staying sane! I’ve run into my old work “friends” now & then and I can see how uncomfortable they are. I can set them at ease by commenting on how busy they must be working and managing their families but I sense they know what I am doing. Overtime I’ve come to a realization that I could not change the events in my life that caused the rift in our friendships therefore I should not feel guilty. It has been their loss not to continue our friendship since they have missed the chance to get to know the new & improved “me”! As we say where I’m from, c’est la vie!
    Thanks to those old friends that have remained in my life, a bigger thanks to new friends who put up with my health problems and an even bigger thanks to friends online who take the time to chat now & then!
    Thanks Deena for being a friend!

    1. deenaremiel says:

      Thank you, for being mine, and sharing your trials and tribulations! Realizations can hurt, but if we’re smart, we grow from them. 🙂

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