Strange friendships

Another long-time friend has passed. He was the significant other of a friend I met through work affiliations in another state many years ago. They split up and he moved to my hometown. I moved to another state but eventually moved back home.

He was very supportive when I moved back. He did anything from loaning ladders and giving repair advice to the occasional pizza dinner. He had a really cool scaffolding system I used to wallpaper my staircase.

He was a truly good person. I understood why he broke up with my friend. She was high maintenance. She was beautiful and vivacious but very high maintenance. Exhaustingly high maintenance. After I moved, I rarely saw her. Eventually I never heard from her again. I never missed her.

He, on the other hand, was Mr. Super Nice Guy. He was a decade older than me. We never clicked as anything other than friends. Eventually he met a great lady and they married. We stayed in touch for many years. We would do dinners.

It’s been many years since I’ve seen him and his death made me reflect on why. Other than moving to the same town, we didn’t have much in common. He loved classical music exclusively. I need a good dose of hard rock to get my cleaning done and my groove going. He has dogs and I have cats. He doesn’t own a pair of jeans. Well, you know how this is going.

He was athletic in a way I wasn’t. He did those vacations where you say, “Wow! That’s cool!” but deep down in your heart you know it’s not your cuppa tea. There is no way I would do it. I played racquet sports like tennis and racquetball. He found them boring.

He was a bicyclist. He took several vacations where you bike all day through a rural area with lots of small towns and stay overnight at a bed and breakfast. It was with a group. If something happened, there were vans to take you to the next location. I would be a frequent flyer on the van for sure but when he described it, it sounded lovely.

When I read his obit, I wondered by I hadn’t reached out to meet up with he and his wife. It was too hard. We had some good times but with diverse interests sometimes the conversation didn’t flow. It started to feel more like a duty thing. The nail in the coffin was when his wife developed health issues that restricted the foods she could eat. Pizza was definitely out of the question as were salads, red meat and most other things. They had no interest in going out to eat and I had no idea what to serve. Our mutual love of food had ended. Years passed and no invitations happened on either end. Then he died.

Some people are friends for a season or friends for a reason. He fit in that category. He was a great guy and I thank him for being supportive during my difficult move.

RIP Bill!

53 thoughts on “Strange friendships

  1. It seems almost universal that after an old friend passes we wonder and question if we could have been a more interested friend, or as you did, what happened to the friendship? This is a lovely tribute to a fine man, Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes you are friends with people for a specific period of time or in one situation and then it fades. It doesn’t mean you don’t like the person anymore or you fall out with them, it’s just the situation changes or whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry about your friend, Kate. It’s unsettling, to say the least, to lose a friend. It seems more unsettling at this time in our lives. So many memories. He sounds like an interesting and fun person. One of those people that drop into our lives for a special reason and then move on. I was engaged to a guy before I met SSNS and I broke off that enagement. I found out in 2017 that he died in 2012 and it left me shook up for a short while. I was surprised it affected me that way. I like your thought about some people are friends for a season or friends for a reason.

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  4. I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. I also have been losing friends over the last 10 years or so. Some were no longer close to me. Some people only walk with you on your journey for a short while, or, as you said, for a reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear about your loss. Relationships are challenging and rewarding, and many fall by the wayside. It is especially hard as we get older and individuals pass on because we look back and wonder if the moves we made were right. They probably were at the time, and that’s really all we can do.

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  6. I’m sorry for your loss Kate. I lost a friend in March that I kept in touch with for almost a quarter of century and we knew each other from the advertising world. I never met his wife. They moved to New Mexico about five years ago. He researched to find the sunniest place in the U.S. (which I always thought was San Diego), but it was Las Cruces, NM. He had a P.R. job (in biz for himself) and was able to rent an apartment for six months to see if they’d enjoy living there. They bought a house and she made the move with the rest of the furniture a year later. I sent him a Hanukkah e-card last year … never heard from him, he didn’t open the card (I can tell on my account info). Sent it again – same thing and he never wrote me at Christmas time and he always sent me a Christmas greeting. He had been a radio personality and local weekend traffic reporter for years and they mentioned his death on the radio as “a sad note about Terry T. Brown” … I can’t say I was surprised, but felt sick to hear it and Googled his obituary. I wrote him one last e-mail about “now I know why you never contacted me – rest in peace” and months later his wife wrote me a nice note to thank me for the note, the Hanukkah card(s) and told me she had finally gotten into his e-mail and it had been horrible to gain control of his e-mail to advise all his clients/friends that she didn’t know. She sent an invitation to a memorial service they would be holding in late Summer, but I declined. I only knew him. He had a devastating stroke and went to a nursing home where he contracted COVID. I know how you feel, only you spent much more time with your friend than I did with Terry T.

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          • Thank you Kate. He loved animals and sheltered feral cats and also had a group of squirrels he fed. His parents died a few years back and he was estranged from his family because he was gay. After he died, a long-time friend of his cleaned out Kirk’s home, took care of setting up the memorial service, etc. and he set up a fund at the local animal shelter for donations in lieu of flowers. Because he has no family, I guess no one will sue the driver or truck company, but his friend set up the fund in the event the estate recovered money and all the proceeds will go to the animal shelter. Kirk was only 46. He had so many broken bones and internal injuries he would never have been the same had he lived. He was a motorcycle enthusiast … that would not have happened again, he was pinned inside his car and a crane had to pick the dump truck off. Horrible. You never know when you walk out of the house if you’ll return.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Thats one thing I don’t like about aging. Its inevitable that we are going to lose friends. I understand what you mean about friends for a season. Its not that you forget them, they remain special, your relationship just changes,

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  8. Eating together is a bonding experience–one that’s hard when you hate each other’s chosen food.

    The older I get, the more willing I am to let friendships go. I don’t have the time or the energy. All relationships take some work, but it shouldn’t be all work.

    Still, hooray for Bill and his timely ladders!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s always tough to learn of someone you know – whether it’s a close friend or a distant one – passing away. Kind of just reminds us that nothing is forever. Also at a certain point in our lives we seem to learn about more passings than arrivals.

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 3 people

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