A couple of years ago I wrote about the the end of a friendship — as slow as I was to acknowledge it, I finally had that moment of letting go. Two months ago, Martha wrote me a long letter, something by way of apology/explanation, though in fact not quite either. One phone call, one letter, thirteen years. And this is how I know I have let go: it did not really matter. Not the letter, not the contents. The questions I asked myself — was it something I did, why was I not worthy, could I have changed anything — those questions and the sadness were long gone, liberated two-and-a-half years ago by the simple act of “delete contact.”
We have our medical school reunion in a month. Martha says we will see each other then; I think not. My wonderful therapist has a different take on this: the meeting would be a closure for Martha — letting her know that it is OK for her to stop feeling guilty about me, to stop feeling guilty that I am not one of “her people.” She too can let it be.
In the winter of our 4th year in medical school, one of The Amigas had her daughter. The day Martha told me Caitlin had the baby was the day I found out that (1) she had been pregnant, and (2) she married the father of the baby many months ago. On that day (yes, slow to catch on) I knew I was not a friend and had never been. Today, from the sidelines of co-chairmanship, I am an observer of this group of middle-aged women who have managed to remain friends for almost 30 years. They have known about all the major events in each other’s lives, they have bitched and shared and celebrated together through the years, and this fall, they will gather again to bitch and share and celebrate. I wish them the best of times.