That title almost sounds like a tragedy is about to be recorded here. And I suppose there is something bittersweet about the topic of this blog entry, but I think the focus should be on the ‘sweet’ part of bittersweet.
I was rewatching the Lord Peter Mysteries done by the BBC back in the 80s (I own all the options of cinematic Lord Peter) and while enjoying pretty much everything about those miniseries, the person who introduced to that world popped in my mind.
She was in my grad school program although she was in the other section so we never had an actual class together. American-born, but had been in the UK much longer than I had or have even to this day. She was one of those instant connections that you make where you just know…yeah, this person has to be my friend. And she was. Some time in that year-long program, she bought me two books: Strong Poison and Have His Carcase. I had never heard of Sayers (author) or Lord Peter Wimsey, nor was I much of a mystery reader, except for the Bunnicula series back as a child, but I’m not sure that counts. But I read them because she gave them to me. And I fell in love with 1920s London, mysteries written by someone so much smarter than me, and Wimsey himself. At some point, later, she made me watch one or all (I can’t remember) of the miniseries. Which is why I own them now.
This friend mattered so much to me. We kept in touch after the program, in two different parts of our home country. I even got to visit her once. But due to time, separation, failure to keep in touch; she and I haven’t spoken in years. I wouldn’t say we were enemies, or not friends. We just lost touch. If she ever contacted me again, I would be ecstatic.
I have the same thing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That music, those musicians were ‘introduced’ to me by a friend from college. We stayed friends beyond college and I was even in her wedding. We saw RHCP together, which was still one of my favorite concerts. She and I were writing buddies, both lived in LA for a time, and very much best friends.
Again, she and I are not not friends anymore. We’ve just drifted apart. She got married, has kids, and we just don’t talk like that anymore. Sometimes we connect over social media, or similar, but it’s not like it was. We aren’t the same people anymore.
There are probably many more examples of friends that were in my life intensely, and for many reasons, are not anymore. You live long enough, move around enough, and it just happens. I hear RHCP on my iTunes, or plug in the DVD of Gaudy Night, and even if I’m not trying to remember these friends, there they are. Along with our conversations about said music and books, movies and television; life.
It’s bittersweet. How my house is filled with memories in objects of people that aren’t around anymore. It reminds me of simpler days, of who I was however many years ago, how I saw my future with these people. And I ponder what my life is like without them now…would it have been different?
Would I have found these interests without these friends?
I don’t really have regrets, truly. I certainly don’t regret any of the friendships I’ve had that might no longer be active. Because each of those people left something behind: a series of books, a favorite band, a well-loved movie, random trivia about people and things that no one else seems to know about, letters and cards, laughter.
Change is inevitable, especially in relationships. We grow and change, and so do those around us. And it’s okay.
The things they leave behind mean nothing in this life is wasted. I’m grateful for that.
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