We are above all else, social beings. The whole of our life stories set in the context of our relationships. Those relationships have everything to do with our identity. They frame our years from birth to death.
No one of us, no matter how self sufficient we may believe we are, stands apart from all of those whose lives have touched upon ours.
Those relationships are stepping stones to the rest of the world. They are bridges that can span generations.
When I stop to think about it, it’s amazing how many relationships I have been a part of over the span of my life.
One of the greatest stages of life comes when we begin to form relationships outside of our family circle. It at that time we begin to explore a world beyond the comfort of the family nest. Now we not only have family, we have friends and thats an entirely new discovery, an awakening to the fact that we have an identity apart from parents and siblings.
Friends have lives that do not necessarily include us. They have different homes, different set of parents; they can move away or just move on to other friendships and yet by the very fact they were part of our lives for even a brief time, they change us and enrich the life experience.
I remember my first friend. Her name was Gertrude. She lived across the street and was a few years older. I looked up to her. I remember her as being very kind to me. One day she moved away and I never saw her again. Thats when I discovered the pain of loss that is an unrelenting component of all relationships.
Thats when I discovered the power of memory to aid us in continuing to recapture the benefits of all that has gone before and perhaps understand the story of our lives.