At this time of year, the NYC subway is a sweltering mess. And yet, I might have endured it (as Mario) to see an old friend. Brenda is a friend of my late wife who (with her husband and child) occasionally comes into NYC on business/pleasure trips. And I try to connect with her on each of her visits, as it is a way of maintaining a healthy connection to good memories of the past without falling into the trap of living in the past.
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About a week ago, Brenda came to New York with her entourage, and we agreed to meet while she was here. Unfortunately, both the holiday and the wedding got in the way of us getting together. And, there was no way for us to connect on her last couple of days here, as they had Broadway tickets for their last two nights in the city.
Do I really miss the chance of getting together? Not really. It would have been nice to see her again. But GFJ and I have other things we want to do with the next couple of days. Couple this with an appointment I must make in Marian Mode, and that leaves almost no time to meet up with Brenda.
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Over the years, the connections I have with my past are loosened but not severed. A friendship with Brenda is one of these connections I'll always have, but one that will grow ever less important as the one link that binds us continues to fade away into our past. I've seen this happen with a former girlfriend, Eileen. My wife and I were there at her wedding, then she and her husband were at our wedding. We are linked on Facebook, but neither of us make the effort to contact each other when we are in each other's home towns.
One can view this type of change as a sad thing. I don't. If we're lucky, it's part of the process of renewal, as it makes it possible for us to keep the relationships that are important to us and to make room for new relationships that may yet become just as important to us.