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Grim's Tales: Some things are worth having, even briefly

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Why do so many friends part ways?

This rumination was inspired by a visitor to my house who left following a week of reminiscing and nerding out, paired with dreams of times long gone with friends who are equally gone. Simply put, people leave a lot.

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This part of life wasn’t fully experienced until I graduated from high school. Sure, there were friends who moved away between elementary semesters, but that was nothing to compare to the mass exodus the little towns of Backus and Pine River face following each year’s graduation. It is only dwarfed by the hordes of people that evacuate a college town at the completion of each spring semester.

I doubt I’m much different from anyone else, in that the friends I spend time with regularly are less than one fifth the quantity of all the close friends I’ve ever had. I’ve made lots of friends, and waved farewell to more than I cared to. Some friends you see regularly, some seldom, and too many never again.

Memories of these friendships can be a comfort for us, but when we really desire the company of any one specific person, memories can be a bane instead of a boon.

It’s for this reason I have been waking up from having dreams of friends I haven’t seen in years with a mood more than a little frustrated. It’s a strange thing. The dreams were good dreams of old times, but they are counterfeits, and that simple fact spoils them.

We can’t keep anything forever, nor are we meant to. Life is in a constant state of flux. Anything can be here one minute, gone the next. What are we to do with those things that are most important?

Recognize that even those sad times should not deter you. Emotions and thoughts fade faster than anything else. Brush frustration away, replace it with wholehearted times of happiness all in long rows. Someone will shuffle bad times in, but get past them as fast as you can.

In the realm of friends, there is no room for lukewarm. Your friends should be close like blood. If they aren’t, then it is up to you to fix that. This doesn’t mean you should take risks that might hurt you. Remember, except for time and patience, friendship is free.

Don’t let the fear of parting ways get in your way, and don’t waste a good thing on pride and stubbornness. Forgive the friends you may have parted with intentionally in the past. Friends are a true treasure. I guess what I’m trying to say is, when they are gone, you may feel lonely, but nowhere near as lonely as you would be if your friendships had never been.

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