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My Childhood Best Friend

I’m trying to remember the last time I saw her.  My memory says it was in 6th grade, on the bus on the way to school.  She was my best friend for three and a half years.  We met in 2nd grade and became fast friends.  We lived a mile or two apart, out in the country.  We would ride our bikes to each others houses and spend the day and/or night playing.  She was my best friend.  We shared a lot of what was going on in our childhoods but not everything…

The days leading up to the last day that I saw her were tumultuous.  My parents had been divorced for eight years and yet they had remained in the system off and on fighting over custody of my brother and I.  There had been a lot of things that had already happened in those eight years following my parents divorce including a kidnapping, judges being accused of being bribed, domestic violence and over ten moves in our short lives.  We had made a lot of friends….and lost a lot of friends already.  Then, in the days leading up to the last time I saw my best friend, another kidnapping attempt that failed.  My dad spent hours on the phone with the attorney trying to figure out what to do.  I was 11 years old and my brother was 13 years old.  The attorneys words were, “If you don’t let them go, they’re going to resent you.  They need to know what life with their mom is like.  Let them go.”  So, my father acquiesced.  In a matter of a few hours I was gone, once again, from the life that I knew….and so was my friendship.My brother and I, literally vanished overnight from our friends’ lives and they ours without notice.  There were no goodbyes, exchanges of addresses or phone numbers.  We simply vanished.

Over the years I’ve looked for her.  In the beginning (which equaled after I graduated from high school), I went back to the city where I had lived and tried to find her to no avail.  As social networking has become more and more prominent I’ve found new avenues. In the beginning it was Classmates.com, then MySpace.com and then Facebook.com.  All total thirty-four years have passed and I have always wondered what happened to her.  Maybe because she was the longest childhood friend I’d had, maybe because of the connection that we shared or maybe both, but I have always missed her and wondered about her.

I hold both of my parents responsible for this.  How could both of them not foster my childhood friendships in the midst of my relocation…my multiple relocations.  Years later I can answer that question having been in the field of work that I have been in.  Litigation….the side affect of litigation.  Litigating parents don’t care about childhood relationships.  They don’t focus on anything but themselves and who wins.  Childhood relationships are a casualty of the war that they cannot stop for fear of “losing”.  How dare them.   I’m angry at them for the friendships that I lost, that I had no say so in.  I’m angry that they couldn’t stop fighting….EIGHT years later.  Seriously??  MOVE ON.  (For those of you that know me…I’m not an angry person by nature but parents fighting over their children anger me.  Especially when they are still fighting years later.  LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be so miserable).

Anyway..off of my soap box.  Now to the happy ending…

I found her!  MY BEST FRIEND!   Just this past week.  Thank God for Facebook!  After years of random searches and wondering…FACEBOOK you are my hero!  Wow.  Another chance to heal from the war my parents waged on each other.

Oh yeah… …and it turns out she has been looking for me all of these years too.

 

17 Responses to “My Childhood Best Friend”

  1. donna says:

    Brenda: Very moving story; thank you for sharing, especially given how painful this was for you. At a collaborative practice workshop over the weekend the speaker asked how many people in the room had parents who were divorced. Many hands went up. The speaker said keep your hands up if you were happy with the way your parents handled their divorce. Only a few hands were left…It’s a sad commentary that children are too often forgotten in the divorce process. Glad you were able to re-connect with your friend.
    Donna Heller
    Family Law Attorney/Mediator
    http://www.mediationinstead.com

  2. That was lovely. Thank you for circulating it.
    June Jacobson

    June Jacobson, J.D., M.S.W.
    Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
    156 Fifth Avenue (at 20th St.)
    Suite 734
    New York NY 10010
    phone: 212-242-0806
    fax: 646-219-0524
    e-mail: junejacobson@earthlink.net
    web: http://www.mediate.com/junejacobson

  3. Lisa Zahn says:

    Wow. That is powerful, Brenda. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. Lisa Zahn

  4. Thanks for sharing this!

    Deborah Slye Miller
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    6440 N. Central Expwy., Suite 401
    Dallas, TX 75206
    214-559-6173 (Telephone)
    972-499-2374 (Facsimile)

  5. Yvonne Barth says:

    Brenda,

    KNEW, knew, knew…all these years there was a reason to direct you in to home study work. I agree so MUCH–after 25 years of social studies–with your paragraph beginning “I hold…”. Keep on with your collaborative divorce work!! AND>>>>delighted!!!!! you found your best friend! 🙂 peace,
    Yvonne

  6. What a wonderful ending. Thank you for sharing this story.

    _________________________________________________
    Rhonda Cleaves
    Cleaves Law Firm, PLLC
    (817) 329-8060 metro
    (817) 329-8062 (fax)
    http://www.cleaveslaw.com

    1701 W. Northwest Highway, Suite 100
    Grapevine, Texas 76051

    3010 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1200
    Dallas, Texas 75234

  7. Awwwwhhh….loved it!!

    Jennifer S. Goldman

    Law Offices of Jennifer S. Goldman, P.L.L.C.
    2213 Boll Street
    Dallas, Texas 75204-2613
    Ph: (214) 880-0887
    Fax: (214) 637-9331
    jgoldman@goldmanfamilylaw.com
    http://www.goldmanfamilylaw.com

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  9. Sarah Franklin says:

    Awww! Yay! What a great story! Thanks for sharing it! I’m glad it has a happy new beginning (I can’t very well call it an ending!). 😉

  10. Thao Phan says:

    THANK you for sharing that with me.  YIPPEEE!!!  I am so happy you have reunited with your best friend.  I hope you have a blast catching up!

    And thank you for doing the work that you do.  What an honor it is to call you my colleague.

    Warmly,
    Thao

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