Wednesday, September 17, 2003

For every thing, there is a season...

Wednesday morning.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
* A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
* A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
* A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
* A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
* A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
* A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
* A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

This morning, I am mourning the passing of what was once a wonderful friendship. R and I found each other, on the web, in a BBW (large women) chatroom on Yahoo and, improbably, started a three and a half year friendship which was solid, affirming, and real. We saw each other through a lot of stuff, including the birth of her beautiful daughter, G, and were closer than I could have imagined I could be with someone outside my own family. What happened? A man, of course. Last year, while at a business conference, I met a man and, upon three days' acquaintance, decided to bring him home to live with me. This is the man that I refer to as The Biggest Mistake of My Life (or just The Mistake, for short). One of the many ways that this decision irrevocably changed me forever was in the way that it destroyed my friendship with R. She couldn't understand how I could keep such a verbally and emotionally abusive person in my life (I couldn't, either, I just couldn't muster up the courage to end it) and then, at the end, she dropped everything to help me get him out only to have me waffle and allow him to change my mind. This she could not take and she reluctantly ended our friendship as a result. I did, several weeks later, get him out, but the damage to our friendship had been done.

A few months later, I emailed R, apologized profusely, and she decided to try to renew our acquaintance. Looking back now, I should have left it where it lay. She never really trusted me again, I felt like I had to walk on eggshells, and we never regained the easy way we'd been together.

In May of this year, I met the man that I believe I will spend the rest of my life with. When I told R about it (after a lot of thought and soul searching about whether or not I should), she responded with a slew of comments that seemed to be more a response to where she was in an on again/off again long distance relationship of her own than to my situation. I was stung, she told me that she thought it best that we not discuss my romantic relationships anymore, and that's where it was left.

Where does a friendship go from there? How can I be friends with someone that will not discuss with me a huge and important part of my life? We emailed back and forth haphazardly during the first part of the summer, but I knew that I couldn't meet up with her because there was just no way that I could sit there for an hour or however long we were together without mentioning C at all. I mean, I was spending every other weekend in Virginia with him, and talking on the phone every day...this man is a huge part of my life...

In any case, I was talking to C about R this weekend and it made me wonder if there was a way for us to reconcile, to put aside her concerns with everything that's happened this summer and everything that C and I have worked through, so I sent her a Hallmark ecard on Monday. This morning, I got an email back from her basically saying that our friendship was over and that I'd burned my last bridge. I fired back a defensive email and then promptly added her to my blocked senders list, both at home and work. I wish now that I hadn't done that. The friendship that we had deserved better than that. This post is my attempt to do what I should have done in my response and to repair, for me, the damage that I've done.

Our friendship was never meant to last forever, I see that clearly now, and, although I will always miss it, I'm letting it go. We've both outgrown it and it's time to move on. I will always cherish the times that we spent together and the wonderful things that your support gave me, R, even as I wish you clear skies and fair winds. Take care, my friend...

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