A Reminder To Stay In Touch With Friends

Two of my best friends are leaving me. I mean, not me, personally, we won’t stop being friends.

One has been my best girlfriend since the dawn of time. The other is a guy I worked with at KGMB and have been close to ever since. Neither is originally from here, but Hawaii has been their home for so many years I never thought – and they never thought – that would change.

The fact that they’re moving away at around the same time is purely coincidental – they don’t know each other, though each has played important roles in my life. Their absence is going to put a hole in my heart. I’m in denial. It can’t be happening.

But it is.

They are leaving for similar reasons – financial survival and opportunities. It’s a bummer for me, but I am supportive because they’re doing what makes sense for their situations.

Did I say I was in denial?

We actually haven’t seen that much of each other lately. You know how it is – schedules, work and complacence. You can (and do) pick up the phone. But when it comes to seeing someone in person, well, there’s always tomorrow, or next week. Too often, though, the days and the weeks stretch into months. Before you know it they’re talking about moving away.

We told each other it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, with Facebook and email and cellphones and Skype, people have more ways to connect than ever before in history. We’ll be scattered geographically, but maybe we’ll be able to trick ourselves into believing otherwise. After all, we can plug ourselves in and out of virtual communities with the click of a link.

We’re pretty lucky that way. But it makes us lazy, too. It’s so easy to put off a visit when you can call someone on your cell. It’s OK to skip the call because you can always email later. And it’s fine to forgo the email when you can send a message on FB instead.

I know one thing: All the direct messages and Face Times in the world won’t make up for the loss of the physical presence of my friends. I realize that. I know that we all took our relationships a bit for granted.

Now we have no choice but to use the cold reality of technology to keep the warmth of our friendships alive. We’ll stay connected by being connected. It’s no substitute for the real thing, but it’s a lot better than nothing.