Sunday, February 5, 2017

     A former colleague and truly delightful guy posted this early this morning. I really like it, as it makes me ask myself, “What do people miss about me, if anything?” What would they miss about you, if you moved away?








     Recently, my dear friend, Pattie, visited for the first time. She asked me what I missed about my former home in North Carolina. I said, “I miss my friends and my identity.” We spent ten years of our retirement life in a community of mostly wonderful people, many of whom enjoyed the same things we did and still do: a glorious beach, wonderful cultural events, a university offering many opportunities for seniors to continue learning and, for me, a stage on which to perform. We didn’t make our closest friends in the first year or two; it took all ten years to know who we really valued. Those are the ones we miss, and most of them will come for a short visit at least once. The visit, although wonderful, is certainly not like living ten minutes away so we can share a “cup-a-Joe” or enjoy a tennis match. It is the only choice, however, and we accept knowing that we were the ones who left.

     When Pattie said she missed me and made a cute little sad face, I said that I was always the one to leave, so I couldn’t really relate to how it would feel to have a close friend move away. I think it would be very hard for me, especially at my age, because there is no career to fill in the void, and no children to raise. Cherished friends in later life become the anchors that ground us, and when we don’t have them, we float aimlessly for a while until we find new ones. The new ones aren’t made out of the same stuff sometimes, so we long for the ones we knew we could count on to help us navigate the rough waters.

      What do I miss about Pattie (and a handful of others I left behind)? I miss the bond we created over time that provided us with a mutual trust and respect. I miss the “I get you” friendships that seldom surface in a lifetime. I miss the “I just like that you’re here” part of the friendship. Someone posted a quote a few weeks ago that said, “A best friend  is someone you can invite over and just take a nap.” Love that. 

     Other than these deeper things, what else do I miss about my friends? I miss smiles that say, “I’m here.” I miss hugs that say, “We’re all in this together.” I miss the laughter, the trust that allows me to vent and cry. I miss the history of relationships that have endured the test of time.


     So what do I think people miss about me? Who knows? I hope they miss my silly, my courage and my heart. Some might just miss my stilettos, but they know I’m still struttin’ in them, and maybe that’s enough.