Saturday, November 26, 2011

What would you do?

At some point in your life, every girl has a best friend.  They're the ones you talk on the phone with all night, go on adventures with, hang out with at school, etc.  Some of us are lucky enough to grow with this person from childhood into adulthood.  Otherwise find that their best friend changes as they move through the different stages of their life.

The BFF that made a particular impact on my life (outside of Grey) is Jan.  I met Jan when I was 13 yrs and I was instantly attracted to her wild behavior and ability to laugh.  Over the years, the bond formed more deeply: we learned to drive together, attended concerts with garage bands, teased the boys and even spent a couple of Spring Breaks together.  I became a part of her family (sang at her mother's wedding, helped move her father into his new home) and she became a part of mine (holidays, visiting my grandparents, etc).  In short, for a time, we were like sisters.

In 2002, after I had been in Seattle for only 4 months, Jan moved in with me for 7 weeks.  She had been engaged for about a year and was having doubts about the relationship.  Her mother encouraged her to go see me (hell, she bought the plane ticket) and we ended up spending the summer as roommates in a one-bedroom apartment.  Jan was the one who found the one of my favorite coffee shops in the city.  We went to Mt. St. Helen's together.  She even humored me about a guy I was seeing, but was clearly treating me poorly.  She disliked him so much, that during a game of frisbee, she made sure to throw the disc in a manner that had him running all over the park.  Apparently many people were amused.

At the end of the summer, we had a serious discussion about her going back to the midwest to end her engagement.  The plan was, if the discussion with her fiance didn't lead to some serious changes, she would end the relationship, I would break my lease and she would move out to Seattle.  Considering all that happened over the summer, I really thought they were through.  Imagine my surprise when she called me a few days later and announced they were buying a house.

As I think about this now, that decision was kind of the beginning of our currently relationship.  Shortly after returning home and buying the house, we started to lose contact. Though there was the occasional phone call, in general I didn't hear from her. Jan was married 3 months after Grey and I and shortly after, she was electrocuted at work, resulting in a lot of pain.  Through communication with her mother, I was able to learn the particulars and began a one-sided letter writing campaign in hopes of maintaining some sort of contact.  We reconnected in 2007 after her mother was able to help with establishing a phone call and again in 2008 shortly after the birth of her son.  During that visit, outside of briefly holding the baby, Grey and I were ignored.

I remember calling her when we were starting our TTC journey and chatting excitedly about what to expect and wishing each other the best.  And then, as had happened in the past, all phone calls went unanswered.  At the end of 2010, when it was clear something was wrong, I tried again to contact her.  No response.  This time, though, I was hurting too much to pursue contact.  We haven't spoken in almost 2 yrs.

Yesterday, I received an email from Jan's mom telling me that her father had passed.  Her dad has never been in the best of health, nor has he really been willing to take the necessary steps to improve his situation.  But I do know the pain that comes with losing a loved one.  I'm torn though.  A few years ago I would have called right away to see how she's doing and to offer my sympathy. If necessary, I would spend the next month writing letters just to let her know that I'm thinking of her. But, right now, I'm emotionally spent. I can't be the hero in this situation.  And I tired of being the one to reach out.  I'm tempted just to send a card and leave it at that.

So I'm in need of advice:  what would you do?


  1. That is a hard one. I am not one for fighting for a relationship when I'm the only one fighting. I think the card is a good idea, maybe include a note in it?
    Good luck on your decision!

  2. I feel that a friendship goes both ways. It should be reciprocated. I'm with Amanda. A card is a good way to let her know that you're thinking of her. xoxo

  3. The card would be what I'd do... especially since you knew her family pretty well. It would benefit them as well to hear from you.

    But if I were in this situation, which I have been, I would be done trying to make our friendship work. You're at different stages of life and in 5 or 10 years, she's going to be like "shit, I really messed up."


  4. I agree with these girls. I think the card is sufficient, maybe flowers if the funeral hasn't already been held. You can only do so much. One sided relationships are hard enough, especially when your in our position. You said it best, "I can't be the hero in this situation." It sounds like you've tried over and over, I would go with the card, maybe one for her and one for her mom and leave it at that. It's hard because you care, but you can't change the way she is. Best wishes!

  5. I probably would send a card, followed by a longer email. I am someone who has a REALLY hard time letting go of old relationships, even if they are one sided. But, you are right - there is a limit. Definitely send the card. Anything more than that is pure generosity on your part.

  6. I would send a card. I've had a friendship like this, and we actually speak now, but it grew back organically and I don't think anything we did would have fixed it earlier.

  7. I agree just send a card *hugs*


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