Shortly after I graduated, I got married. Five years later I was divorced with two kids. It certainly wasn’t my plan to be a single mom, but that is where I found myself. I was working full-time, raising two little boys and trying to make ends meet. It was a struggle.
A few years later I remarried and a few years after that added another child to my growing brood.
Fast forward many years . . . . . . . still married, added three more kids via adoption and have lived in Illinois, California, Washington and now Texas. I left the work force years ago, enjoy traveling (especially places that involve the ocean), homeschool my girls, have fostered many children and have a small circle of friends.
My life has been very full since graduating so many years ago, but I realize that my life choices have caused a disconnect.
Some of my friends from high school are living in the same area of the country they have always lived. Some have gone on to live elsewhere. I know their names, but I don’t know them. Some I would recognize if I passed them on the street, but the majority are basically strangers to me now.
This became very apparent when one of my classmates sent out a mass email about another classmate who passed away several weeks ago. A request has been made to attend an informal gathering for the spreading of his ashes and to share stories about our memories of him. It was in that moment I realized that my disconnect from all those people in my past life, has caused me to forget the stories we share.
Maybe this is perfectly normal. Or maybe not.
When we build memories with other people in our lives, we are regularly reminded of those stories when we see them. But what about the people we never see again? How do we hold on to those shared stories?
I haven’t seen the majority of my classmates for 30+ years. In most cases, other than memories from my school years, I have no relationship with them any longer. As time has gone on, my life has taken a different path and the shared memories have faded.
In some ways it seems a little sad, but for the most part, I’m okay with the disconnect. I’m sure they feel some level of disconnect with me as well. In the same way my experiences and life choices have brought me to where I am, their experiences and life choices have taken them to where they are in life.
What’s important is that we live our best life, take advantage of the opportunities offered us and hopefully learn valuable lessons along the way.
Although the stories and faces may have faded, they are not completely forgotten. They are weaved within the fabric of my life and those relationships and experiences have helped bring me to this place. So I’ll embrace the disconnect and say thank you to all who have been part of my life in some way. I appreciate all of you!