Thursday, October 29, 2015




Am I the only one who worries about losing people, afraid that with each life change or move, some important people, both friends and family, will drop off, never to be seen again?  In my experience, that seems to be what happens.
When my husband and I moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey with our first-born infant, we made many friends in our new community, but lost touch with almost everyone we’d known in the city.  That forty-minute drive and our changing circumstances put the kibosh on a number of relationships. 
It also happened with my brother when he left New York and moved to California. For years we hardly saw each other and were practically strangers.  It’s only now, 35 years later that we’re getting reacquainted.  We could probably thank a health scare and our children for that.
As we go through life, it seems inevitable that some of those that we were closest to at one stage will slowly drift away when we move on to the next.  I get that.  We change, they change and what we had in common no long exists.  But what I’m talking about are those close friends and family members, not acquaintances, who knew and cared about me and my family and me, them and theirs. I’m sure I would still have plenty in common with them if we were in touch again. I’ve changed, but I’m essentially still the same person.  I imagine they are too.
Instead, if it weren’t for Facebook, that much maligned, but blessed conduit for communication, I wouldn’t know where so many friends and family are living and what they’re up to.
I know for a fact that it’s possible to maintain old friendships.  I have observed that some people do manage to keep their oldest friends. I’m even friends with some of these people.  They are the ones who go on vacations with classmates from high school and college and somehow manage to stay in constant communication with them. But that’s not been my experience. Is it because these people have never moved?  Or is it that their lives have been more predictable than mine?
My Catholic guilt (yes, every religion and ethnic group has their own form of guilt) would say it’s my fault.  I should have kept up, called more often, made that extra effort.  In some cases, that’s true.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate the telephone.  But I also think these lost connections are the result of our fluid, modern society.  So few of us stay where we grew up.  So many of us change course midstream.  Maybe that’s one reason Facebook is so successful with my generation.  It’s an antidote to that fluid, modern society giving us a painless way to reconnect.

Deborah Nolan has three romances, SUDDENLY LILY, CONFLICT OF INTEREST and SECOND ACT FOR CARRIE ARMSTRONG. When she is not writing or enjoying New York City, she practices family law, representing children, in Columbia County, New York.


  1. Well said, Deb! So ironic that FB was intended for the college set. It really has been a unifying force in our age group for sure.

  2. HI Deb -- Very true. I often feel guilty about losing contact with people I was once close to and the missed opportunities of relationships that never developed as they might have if I followed up more vigorously. But then I remind myself that there are only so many hours in a day. You have to let some things go so that new things can develop. I think that's been true throughout history for some people. The pioneers anywhere often lost all contact with family and old friends, for years and sometimes even forever. Part of me thinks life is supposed to be that way.

    1. Hi Karen,
      love your example of the pioneers. True for immigrants too! I guess the guilt comes in for me because it isn't hard to stay in touch. There just isn't the time.

  3. People come and go in our lives. Those who are meant to stay will be there no matter what or where or how long. There is a saying (I can't remember who said it or where I read it) that people are in our lives forever or a season or a day. The important thing I've learned is that those who touch our lives in significant ways are never forgotten, no matter when or if we see them again.

    1. Leigh
      that's a good point. Even when we do lose touch with people we don't forget them.

  4. Hi Deborah--
    A great post of our times. I think most of us are so busy in our day-to-day lives that catching up with old connections takes a back seat to more pressing priorities.

  5. I've been away for a while and just discovered this post. Love it! I so identify with what you're saying. We've moved around a bit because of my husband's work and it's always sad to loose connections we thought were forever. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to connect with many of them, but have made new friends in unexpected places.