When you were younger, you always heard your parents talk about “how things change” as you get older. People change, friends move away, people pass away. While you completely believe what they are telling you, you don’t really understand the intensity of it until you are in their shoes.
Between death and honestly just life happening, I have lost so many people already. I lost my sister when I was young, but I didn’t really understand that I would continue to lose people as the years went on. I mean, I was six years old, so understanding death was a little complicated for me. Up until shortly before she passed, I thought that everyone lived forever, unless something horrible happened to you. (Crazy, right?)
I remember in middle school, a boy that I had a few classes with had drown in a nearby creek. I can recall that being the most shocking thing ever to me at the time. I played the news over and over in my head. It was a weird feeling. I couldn’t believe it. It was one of those moments where you were like “Oh my god, this actually happens in real life, like these things really do actually happen.”
Then I moved to Tennessee. Looking back, I feel like that was a turning point in my life. I lost touch with so many people in New York. I stayed in touch with my best friend for a good while at first, and as life happened, we slowly stopped talking as much. Which that is completely natural. As an adult, it makes sense to me, but back then, it really sucked. Me being an innocent child, I really thought that I was going to continue to call her and talk to her every night for the rest of my life. The genuine love that kids have for friendship and family is amazing.
I also lost a friend back in New York due to a car accident shortly after I moved away. My best friend told me about it and I just broke. I remember I called my mom crying while she was at work that day that I found out. It was awful. I kept thinking about all of the times that we hung out, and how her older sister used to video tape us doing ridiculous things together all of the time. We always used to stay up late and try to make our own “candy.” Which that honestly just consisted of us melting chocolate candy bars, or mixing a ton of sugar with baking cocoa to make milk chocolate, and freezing it into large bars with sprinkles or pretzels in them. We always said that we were going to open a candy shop together one day called “CK’s Candies” (C for Cait and K for Kristen.) When I lost her, that was another point in my life where I was reminded how quickly things can change.
I remember when I moved down here, it was terrifying. Starting over and having to make new friends again was hard. I am not exactly an extrovert. Luckily, I became close with a girl very quickly once I started school. We hung out every chance that we had for years, but once we made it to about our Junior year of high school, we lost touch. She then ended up moving away, and honestly, I am not even sure where she moved to, and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how to get ahold of her. It is sad to think about how close we were, and then it literally just ended.
Before she moved away, I remember spending time at her house with a couple of our other friends. One was a boy, who I also met when I first moved to Tennessee. We “dated” on and off after we first met, and we remained friends after that. I remember it had been a while since I had seen him before that day. I believe he was being home schooled at that point, so I never really saw him. I know that I didn’t talk to him that much when I saw him, and I have felt awful ever since. Because shortly after that day, he got into an accident, and was ejected from his car. A few friends and I went to visit him in the hospital a couple of times, and it was the hardest thing to look at. He was on life support for a long time before his family finally decided to take him off of it. I got the news that he passed in the middle of class one day. That was a rough day for me. He was a such sweet person.
Several friends came and went throughout high school, which again, is perfectly normal. Some unfortunately went down the wrong path in life, and others just went their separate ways. Especially when I was with my ex, since I wasn’t “allowed” to see any of them. I was with him for about two years and I was dumb enough to let him tell me what to do. Therefor, I rarely saw any of my friends, let alone talked to them. But, after leaving him, a couple of my friends luckily stood by my side. I also made friends with people that I met at my work before I met him. I became very close with them, so they definitely tried to be my support system throughout that horrible relationship, and they still are my support system to this day.
Once you get out of high school, everyone either goes off to college, or immediately starts working full time, so naturally, you never see them anymore. I have stayed in touch with most of the friends that I made throughout my later teenage years, but a lot of the ones that I met before then have slowly disappeared. But one thing that you really never understand until you are in the situation, is how you lose friends after you get married or have children. I was very close with a few people before and even after the wedding. But as time went on, those people slowly started their own life. After I had my oldest son, very few people were still around. And it isn’t really anyone’s fault. As you get older, people start their own families, move away, or even just become wrapped up in their own life.
And then of course I lost my dad. It seems like things will never be the same after losing him. Losing a parent is another one of those situations where you just don’t understand until it happens to you. It will flip your life upside down. I was fortunate enough to have a father that was always there for me. I had a very good relationship with him, so it has definitely been an adjustment not having him around. You definitely lose a piece of yourself when you lose a parent.
Several people have came and went. But I luckily have friends and family that have stood by my side through all of the ups and downs that I have went through. I even have those friends that I will text if I haven’t talked to them in a while just to let them know that I am still around, and that I just suck at juggling my life. And honestly, those friends are in the same situation, and they completely understand. They are still there for you, even if they can’t be there with you. And those are the people that you want to keep in your life.