I am one of those people whose mind never seems to be able to shut down. There is always something running through my mind. I tend to think that something is always important, but in all likelihood it really isn’t. Still, as I struggle to shut my mind down, especially at night, those thoughts grow larger and larger.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about people who have come into my life for whatever reason, and how it comes to be that some people, regardless of geographical location, stay an important part of my life while others, some who live less than a mile away, seem to disappear from my life.
I once saw a quote on Pinterest that went something along the lines of, “Some people come into your life as blessings and some come into your life as lessons. Learn to recognize the difference.” Those words make a lot of sense to me as I look back over the last few years of life.
Eleven years ago, we moved to the city where we currently live. That may not seem like a long time to some of you who have lived in one city your entire life, but for us, eleven years is quite the accomplishment. I am not a person who likes to put down deep roots. Perhaps that came from growing up on an island that really had little to offer–no stores to shop at, no movie theatre, few restaurants, and if one went to any of those places off of our island, it cost a toll to get back home. When one read the local paper, it was unusual to come across an unfamiliar name. I didn’t enjoy that very much, and was not against moving out of state when my husband mentioned that the job prospects would be much better somewhere else. In the 27 years we have been married, we have moved 10 different times. Some of those moves have been within the same city, but still, 10 moves is a lot.
In those 10 different dwellings, we have met a variety of people. Some became friends for a time. I remember when we lived in Niagara Falls. We only had 3 kids at that time. Our neighbors next door were Ron and Cathy. They had older teens who were great kids. On warm summer evenings, we would all gather out front, drink wine coolers and play volleyball. They were great neighbors who we loved dearly. I couldn’t tell you where they are now though. I don’t even remember their last name! In the city we currently live, there have been those who were once considered good friends–our kids got together, we had BBQ’s at each other’s homes, we would get together for holidays or just to chat. Now, some of those people won’t even talk to us. They probably have no idea that our older daughter is married or that our nest is almost empty. They probably don’t care either. How does a relationship that once was so close and fun fall apart like that?
If I really think about all the relationships that we once enjoyed, it can be quite depressing. The opposite of that, of course, is those people who have come into our lives and have, in a sense, replaced those who decided they no longer wanted to be part of our lives.
I guess that is how life works. Just like the tides of the ocean, relationships ebb and flow. Some stay forever. I am thankful for the few who have stuck with us through some difficult times. I am also thankful for those who have chosen to come alongside us as life continues. There is no way to know who will stick it out and who will bail out. Only time will tell that.
One thing I can rest in, though. There is one who has promised to never leave me, even if I’m not being the happy, laughing person I am expected to be. That’s a promise that brings comfort amidst the pain of rejection.