One of the things I have regrets about now that I am in my senior years is not having kept up with friends from my past. I guess that mistake is mainly a “man” thing as my wife has regular communications with friends she made over 50 years ago. The girl she shared an apartment with in Milwaukee in the 1960s is among several others still on her contact list. I have some very casual friends from my high school days but that seems to be about all.
I just don’t seem to be able to maintain long-term friendships. I’m pretty sure some, if not much of that problem, is due to my becoming deaf about twenty-five years ago. My old friends from my hearing days, much like the daily casual acquaintances now, just don’t seem to be able to cope with this communications barrier and that hurts me pretty deeply from time to time. An example of that is when I went to my fortieth high school reunion a few years ago. One of my best friends from those days was there but when he found out I was deaf he didn’t bother to try to communicate with me at all. Me and my buddy spent a lot of time together during those school days so to have him basically ignore me at the reunion hurt me somewhat deeply. I did try to make contact with him but he would not even return the eye contact.
In today’s fast paced world it seems that old friendships are pretty hard to maintain. When a person basically was born, grew up, and died in the same area life long friends were a somewhat common occurrence. Not so much now that we are often spread across the country and sometimes even the world. When we were more or less forced out of our church last year due to our differences in biblical interpretations the friends we made there seem to have for the most part forgotten us now that we are no longer in their weekly cycle. The depth of friendships which seemed to be deep then proved to be rather shallow indeed amongst those Christian friends. I have been thinking about that this Easter morning.
It seems hard to make anything resembling a best friend status now. That saddens me greatly. As I grow older lost friendship become more of an ache in my heart. Due to circumstances beyond our control Yvonne and I are childless so there are no grandkids to fill that gap.
And the journey goes on….