I've come up with a theory about friends. It's relatively simple - and I think it helps put perspective upon times when a friend seems to fade out of the picture of your life, and you aren't exactly sure why. See, as a kid - I wasn't able to have a large group of friends like I have today. For some reason, none of my friends liked each other, it was almost a competitive thing; so I had to have very seperate times with my friends. Sherry didn't like Karen; Karen didn't like Sharon. Sharon didn't like Sherry or Karen, but tolerated Michelle. Michelle didn't like any of them...you get the picture. It made doing things together difficult, and made keeping the friendships even more difficult. But I loved them all, as they were all so different - yet so much like me in many ways - it was worth the efforts.
Over the years, I've been fortunate to be able to build a large group of friends. Not all of them are part of one group - but just about all of my friends know each other, and there is none of that competitiveness. Big sigh of relief... At the same time, there's always the friend that was so near and dear - that just disappears. Despite the efforts of calling, writing, sending cards, etc., they just don't seem to have time. We all have a friend like this. It used to bother me. Alot. It doesn't any more.
Here's my theory...and maybe it will help you if you have a similar feeling about your friends. Think of your friends in groups: Group A: Best friends. Closest Friends. Maybe you see/talk to them many times in a week. Group B: Good friends, ones you might talk to frequently but don't necessarily confide in. Could be work friends. Group C: Aquaintances. Or, friends you've lost touch with. Friends you only send Christmas cards to. Not everyone can make it to be an "A" Group friend; but an "A" group friend can sometimes slip into a "C" group. Life cycles - it circles. Maybe you're in a different place than they are. Maybe you need time to yourself. Maybe they need it. Maybe you've grown apart at this point. Maybe you'll grow back together later. The difference between a true "A" friend and a "C" friend is this: No matter how much time has gone by, when you do finally talk - it's like no time has gone by at all. You pick up right where you left off. There's no real need for words or explanations because you just know.
Friends are like fuzzy pajamas or sweaters. They're comfort food - they are your "feel good". And when you have one, you don't let it go.
The ones that do go - well, take a step back and really think about the times you spent together.
Because maybe... they never were truly your friend after all.