We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task.
I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months.
It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was.
It’s sad when we drift apart. When we take each other for granted and forget to tell one another what we truly think of the other person.
We get so busy with our own lives, that we forget to check in with our people because we’re just so busy keeping our own heads above water without being able to throw someone else a life vest.
So we try to make up for lost time. We try to forget that we are deeply hurt by actions the other has taken. We try to move past the times we left the other in the dust and took a different path.
One of the saddest things in life is to feel like you are not loved by a person you thought loved you the same way back. To feel like you may have meant so little to a person for so long, that it physically hurts to think about it.
When things finally boil over after one event or the other, words are thrown that aren’t really meant, said out of spite and broken hearts. After all, we always hurt those that we love most anyway, right?
But in the aftermath, you are left wearing a new set of glasses. You wear them and analyze who that person was to you. You see birthdays they missed, heartbreaks they weren’t there to help heal, and words spoken to other people you thought they would defend you to.
Friendships are funny like this. We have no commitments to stay as we do in marriage or parenthood. We don’t have to see lawyers to draw up papers to never speak to that person again.
We just go.
But when you let enough time go by, you let your heart soften a little bit and you allow yourself to remember what that person meant to you again. You offer an olive branch. You go to bed wishful that you’ll have an e-mail in your inbox in the morning with a reply saying they’ve missed you, too.
But sometimes, that doesn’t happen.
Sometimes you are just left with the knowledge that you tried.
“I tried,” are two of the saddest words—full of hope, full of emptiness, full of missed opportunities, and most of all, full of a longing that will never be answered.
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