The following poem, whose author is unknown as far as I have been able to determine, has really struck a chord with me.
Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
When Mr. T. went through his health ordeal we lost some friends, some of whom I considered lifetime friends others who I now realize were only in my life for a season. I have spent a significant amount of time over the past 3 years analyzing the breakdown of these friendships and wondering if I could have handled things differently.
These breakups, as I have come to think of them as, have impacted me in different and significant ways. True to my personality I don’t think I’ve handled it well since it was a change that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve dwelled on it. I’ve spent nights analyzing what happened, what I did, what they did. I’ve cried and felt angry and hurt.
At the time I thought that our friendships had come to an abrupt end because of my feelings towards their reactions to Mr. T’s hospital stay. That whole ordeal was the single worst time in my life. While we were surrounded by a wonderful group of family and friends who were ready to support us in whatever way we needed, these friends seemed to be absent during those weeks.
The distance continued to grow once Mr. T. was home from the hospital. Phone calls and visits were few and far between. Our lives just seemed to drift down different paths and we didn’t seem to be able to meet back in the middle.
I have some advice to give if you are finding yourself dealing with a friend in need. Don’t ask if they need anything. During a life change or trauma many people don’t even know what it is they need. They can’t answer that question so most of the time will say nothing. Think of what you yourself might need during a difficult time and depending on the relationship you have with the individual just act. Bring them meals if they are staying in a hospital because hospital food is horrible, unhealthy and expensive. A nice home cooked meal is wonderful when you have been living in a hospital for weeks on end. If you are close enough and have a key to their home, water their lawn, bring in their mail or take care of their home. Once they return home and don’t have piles of mail to sort through, an overgrown lawn to tend to or a dead garden to deal with they will appreciate the help and probably hadn’t even thought of those things. Make the time to pay them a visit in the hospital. Doesn’t have to be a long one but just the fact that you are there will show them that you care. It can help bring up their spirits and will probably make them feel as if they aren’t in this alone. I promise you it won’t hurt.
All these years later I think what I’m seeing is that the end of our friendship wasn’t based solely on the fact that they weren’t there for us during a time of need but rather because these friends just weren’t meant to be a part of us for a lifetime. They were in our lives for a reason or a season. While they were in our lives their friendship meant the world to us. We loved them as though they were family. I cherish my memories with them, and we did make good memories. I am now over the hurt and anger and I will look back on the time that we spent together and remember all the good times we shared. The laughter and tears. I will mourn the death of our friendship but it is now time to move on.
We have since made new friends. Friends who are sharing our lives and bringing us new wonderful memories. Hopefully these friends will be in our lives for a lifetime but if not I will cherish our time together just the same.
I now question what type of friend I am. Am I a reason, a season or a lifetime? I’d like to strive to be a lifetime but I realize that I will enter relationships throughout my life that are just not meant to last a lifetime. I do know that there is a reason that everyone enters my life and that I enter others lives.
Take some time to examine some of the relationships that may have come and gone in your lives? Were these people reasons, seasons or lifetimes. Sometimes the end of a friendship can be difficult to get over but maybe the poem I shared above can shed some light onto why the relationship ended and bring you a little comfort while you grieve for a friendship lost.
My happy thought today is in remembering some of the wonderful moments that I’ve shared with friends past. I’ve been lucky enough to have had some wonderful people enter my life. Though we may not be a part of each other anymore I did share laughs, good times and plenty of happy memories with some very good people. As the movie reals of friends gone by play in my mind I sit here and smile.