Friendships are interesting things. I’ve been wondering lately why they come and go the way they do. Seems to me there’s a lifespan to all friendships, relationships really. Some live longer than others and some come and go in the blink of an eye. I have friendships that have passed on and some that seemed to end to early. I miss them. I miss those individuals and the shared experiences we went through. It sucks, plain and simple. But I’ve also held onto friendships long passed their expiration date. That sucked too, especially once I realized I was the only one holding on.
When I was in the first grade I used to get into fights with another boy in my class. It seemed like everyday at recess we found some excuse to tear into one another. We both came from families where we had older brothers and fighting was a normal way of life. I remember very clearly rolling around in the dirt at recess with this other boy and wanting nothing more than to win. Being the youngest at home, I always lost the fights with my brothers and my guess is he did as well at his house. We were both extremely competitive and neither one of us ever wanted to lose.
I’m actually still friends with this boy today. We’re both men now, of course, and we eventually stopped fighting with one another. It took our teacher keeping us in from recess one day and forcing us to spend time together, not fighting. He became one of my best friends and we spent our entire childhood and teen years together hanging out and having fun together.
There were two other boys we hung out with and we’re all still friends today. We grew up riding bikes together, having sleepovers, playing sports and trying to avoid boredom in small town. All of us get together a few times a year to BBQ with the families or go out to dinner with just the wives. I’ve known these men for over 30 years and have consistently been a part of their lives and they a part of mine. We’ve seen each other through some difficult times and some joyous times. I don’t get to see any of them as often as I would like and I don’t reach out to them as often as I should. But, I know they’re there. I know our life long friendships mean something to them just as they mean something to me. Our past together, in some way, solidified our future together. Forever.
I’m going to reach out to those men I grew up with today. Those men I’ve called my best friends for over 30 years. I’m fairly certain I’ve got another 30 years of friendship with them ahead of me and I don’t want to take it for granted.