The sand dunes in the namib desert look barren of anything but me-colored sand. But dwarfed by the expanse, there are actually tiny plants – succulents – desperately crafting delicate homes in the absence of water and in the loose spaces of intolerable heat.  Some manage to put down roots and flourish, others succumb to the desert’s conditions. Relationships are like that. Taken for granted they can thrive or wilt…attentively cared for and the same is still true. Some scatter to distant places while others etch themselves into permanent places.


Over the years I haven’t been able to put my finger on the thing that makes some of my most treasured relationships fall by the wayside…either quietly or in tumult, and others prosper regardless of the attention paid or not paid to them.


Whether in matters of friendship or matters of the heart, I have found myself swept up in a current of people that bring light and Blue to my world. People who hold me to high standards they have every certainty I can reach…people who offer their strengths, their gifts, their tears, their laughter, their homes, their very lives up to me simply in the name of love.


But sometimes those friendships falter. As individuals we change directions and lose sight of each other, or misunderstandings prevent us from seeing our roles in each other’s lives clearly. Sometimes who we were to each other runs its course and we are left simply with the memory.


Saddest for me are those that move away from me even as I watch, unable to summon them back so that we can search – together – for our common ground that has somehow escaped us. This week has been a dichotomy for me, in terms of relationships. I have been pulled close and held dear and I have been pushed away for want of more. And even with a seeming balance of events, the loss of a friendship always weighs heavy on me. It allows me to look back on the journey I’ve taken with someone special, consider their fingerprints on my life, and then say goodbye.

4 Comments on goodbyes

  1. LaDawn says:

    Beautifully said…

  2. Mary P says:

    You know, since I read this post yesterday afternoon, I've been back to read it 3 times.

    I agree with your sisters' comment in that your words were beautifully said.

    However, I guess I wanted to reread your words because I understand and have experienced some of what you've discussed.

    I've held onto 'friendships' long after the purpose of our coming together was fulfilled. Part of me still doesn't understand how or why "some of my most treasured relationships fall by the wayside…"

    A person who I cherish enough to call 'friend' should be there for life, right?

    I remember the year I left my small private Christian school and entered 6th grade in a large public elementary school. I left behind a girlfriend who I had been inseparable from. We exchanged friendship bracelets and promised to keep in contact. I remember how are phone calls occured less frequently and the pain I felt when I heard through a mutual friend that she had a new best friend. I remember asking my mother how is it that she could have another best friend when I am still here?

    Maybe its the path of life we've taken. Our love for travel and ability to move and think outside of the box.

    We are bound to make tremendous impacts on peoples' lives as they are drawn to our unique perspective and charisma. Its inticing and oh, so attractive.

    I, like you, have met people that I would call soulsisters and soulmates. We shared experiences that warm my heart to this day. But yet still "who we were to each other runs its course and we are left simply with the memory."

    At times, the longing to experience it again creates a dull pain in my soul. But I've realized in looking back over my trysts in friendships that everything worked out for a purpose I was not aware of at the time.

    Often, I look at the story of Ruth in the bible and have prayed for a friendship similar to what she had with her mother-in-law. When Naomi told Ruth to return to her fathers house after her husband died, she responded:
    "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." And together they travelled to a foreign land and started a new life toghether.

    Powerful, huh? Maybe we all aren't supposed to have a 'Ruth' in our lives. Perhaps we experience her in the snippets of relationships that have etched their mark onto our heart and thus into our spirit.

  3. linnea says:

    i love your response but i feel drawn add one more thought. that while some friends do scatter…some hunker down and stay by your side…by my side. and i am learning that while some friendships end, some simply take new form. one of my dearest friends and i had a falling out some years ago. she was like a sister to me and her absence was an acute pain. recently, we've been reaquainted in new terms. i think we finally stopped trying to be what we were to each other and navigated new positions. i'm loving it. i'm thankful for it. i am honored to have her twice in my life. because who we were served me well in one stage, and who we are now serves in a whole new capacity…thanks for sharing!

  4. [deleted] says:

    Wow!…this blog and the comments left me speechless.

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