When I was a little girl I had the usual propensity for losing stuff on buses, or in shops, or dropped from pushchairs, that little girls and boys have. For me it was most commonly a doll, a cat, a bear. My grandfather was frequently dispatched to the lost property room of the bus depot to collect a member of my menagerie. Once I lost Marmaduke the Leopard (he was rather dapper in those days, before the moths got at him, with a tailcoat of turquoise and matching boots) in the nocturnal section of London Zoo. He was found and returned. Losing my beloved soft-toy friends was no measure of my love for them – they had just momentarily slipped from my hand and my mind – I was bereft without them, and so happy to be reunited with them.
I’ve let friends slip my mind from time to time too. They say that if you truly wanted to stay in touch, you wouldn’t lose friends, butI don’t think it’s as simple as that. Life intervenes so often, sometimes we drop the ball.
One friend I lost because we’d both got somewhat caught up in motherhood, and life changes, and difficulties, and in the meantime she’d moved house a couple of times and changed her name, and we had no mutual friends. But I had social media to help me, and I just kept on searching til I found her. I’m thrilled that I did. She’s one of my few friends I don’t have to explain my rather unusual childhood to, she gets it, she gets me. It makes me deliriously happy to know she’s part of my life.
Another lost friend stopped answering my calls. I spent a long time trying to get hold of him, and then some more time coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t important to him any more. Then, after 5 years, just when I’d almost convinced myself that he wasn’t important to me any more, I found him again. We have so much shared history, so much time spent together, so much love and care for one another. I found him, and I cried with joy. Seriously, I cried!
Some friends come and go and you let them because they stop being important to your life. Others hang around on the sidelines, never disappearing completely, but playing a lesser role. Then there’s those that you feel so comfortable with, those that however long it is between seeing them, it feels like yesterday, those to whom you don’t have to explain you. I have a few of those, and I’m glad I tracked down the ones that, for a time, got away. I still have Marmaduke too.