Sunday, September 4, 2011

... Chocolate Chip Pancakes Solved Everything

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”
~ Katherine Mansfield
            I looked down at my chocolate chip pancakes. Really, if only they could solve all the woes in the world. If only a simple bite of their awesomeness would bring peace and understanding to the world. Pancakes of peace they would be called.

            Sadly, chocolate chip pancakes can’t do that. They can’t heal a hurt soul or stop a war from breaking out. At that moment, though, I really wished that they could. Opposite of me is a good friend of mine and I can tell that if anyone needed the magic of chocolate chip pancakes, it was her. It’s her birthday, and yet she’s not having a very a good one. I try and remind her of the happy things about the day, but even I can sense the dark cloud that has settled over the evening.
            She’s texting with another friend of ours, who happened to let down my friend across from me today earlier in the day. And, it’s kind of hard for me watch these events unfold. They used to be such good friends, but now they barely talk. They’re both in two different worlds. My friend is hurting and I get up to give her a quick hug. She doesn’t know what to do and she’s tired of it all.
            We all went to high school together and spent pretty much all our time with one another. And then, we graduated. Suddenly, it was taking a lot of work to keep in touch with each other.  We were in different places and becoming our own persons.
            One of the hardest parts about growing up is knowing how to keep your old friends.  Even more difficult, though, is knowing when to let old friends go.
            We’re sitting in IHOP and just being here reminds me of our senior prom. A large group had gone to IHOP after after-prom. I couldn’t imagine that we would all go different ways, that we wouldn’t be friends forever. I don’t bring that up. Instead I sit there and talk with my friend. There’s a funny feeling in my stomach, the same one I usually get when life is about to change. It’s an uncomfortable twist in my stomach and I look down at my pancakes.
            No one person is to blame when a friendship goes wrong, when it grows apart. God knows, I could have done a better job to try and keep in touch. There are a million things that I could have done differently.
            But, those moments are in the past and now all I can do is try and make the friendships I do have count. I look at my friend and am glad that we’re here together eating pancakes. I’m glad that she’s my friend. I wish, though, that our other friend was here with us. It’s obvious that we’ve come to a fork in the road and we have to deal with things. But, none of us like confrontation and so it’s difficult. I want to have the courage to talk with our other friend, to bring up the past and work through things. Still, I’m not sure if I’m not that strong, or if it’s all a lost cause.
            We leave and go to talk about things other than difficult friendships. I'm glad that we've grown up, but managed to remain good friends. Life without her would be just wrong.
            So, for those reading: Think about the friends you have, or did have. Cherish them and work to keep the friendship alive. But, try and have the courage to let them go if you need to. Everyone comes into your life for a reason, whether permanently or temporarily. You just have to be wise enough and strong enough to see which category people fall into and to learn from the experience. It's like the poem about Reason, Season, and Lifetime by an unknown author.

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