Monday, October 19, 2009

Bits And Pieces Left Along The Way

Oliver called me this morning. He had a problem and wanted my help. He had left a favorite sweatshirt at the home of a friend with whom he had a falling out. He wanted me to call this kid's mom and arrange an exchange of property; his former friend's football for my son's sweatshirt. I told him we should wait three days (to see if he could mend some fences) and then I would call the mom.

As I drink my morning coffee and try to plan out my day I find myself thinking about Oliver's problem. While he wanted his sweatshirt back I am sure that he was also a little distressed about leaving something something of himself behind and having something belonging to his former friend in his possession. Or maybe I am projecting the thoughts I have been wrestling with over the last several weeks as I drink from a coffee cup that does not belong to me while sitting under a painting left behind by a former girl friend a lifetime ago.

Tee shirts, sweatshirts, footballs, books, and umbrellas, hell...I even know of someone who has a box of my stuff waiting to be handed back to me on some fateful day...these are the bits and pieces of ourselves that we casually exchange along the way. We never intend to permanently give these items away, instead we lend them out, blithely intending to have the exchange of these trivial items continue indefinitely into the future. We also exchange less tangible, more important items along the way, such as affection, caring, concern, and friendship. These are also pieces of ourselves that we leave along the way.

This afternoon I am going to encourage Oliver to make up with his friend. Twelve is too young to learn the hard fact that not all friendships last and that sometimes we have to leave pieces of ourselves behind.

1 comment:

  1. I have had a shell casing (no idea why) that was my high school sweethearts. I never meant to hold on to it (did I?) but it always just showed up... in a junk drawer... in a jewelry box... most recently in a bowl of trinkets in my kitchen. Of all the things I have misplaced over the decades- that thing just... stayed. He recently contacted me after 15 years and when I told him I still had that, he probably thought I was a complete nut job! I don't know if I ever wanted to leave that part of me behind.