It’s actually not absence but presence
–really being there with someone—
that makes the heart grow fonder.
We have always heard, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” And I think I have always believed that to a point. Whenever I was in a relationship and one of us was away, I always felt out of sorts, empty, and couldn’t wait to be reunited! I always looked forward to the time we would see each other, I knew it would be wonderful!
But I also recall times when the time apart allowed us to really think about things that weren’t going right and sometimes that manifested itself into an argument not long after being reunited. My first marriage was very emotional. We were very passionate, in love and in hate. It was a dichotomy at times, very inconsistent. We were both stubborn. And so time apart wasn’t always our friend because we were too immature to use the reflection time to heal and sort things out. We used that time more to tell enough stories that we were became angry, at ourselves or our partner. That didn’t make for a great homecoming!
Recently though I realized that I was beginning to feel isolated a bit. I wasn’t reaching out to people, I was running and busy but not sure doing what. I allowed myself to isolate myself, intentionally. I realize now that I was starting to not like how it was feeling, I felt disconnected from the people I love. I hadn’t seen or hung out with really any of my close friends. There were people I had been talking about having dinner with that we just couldn’t seem to schedule. People who I love to spend time with, and we just couldn’t find the time for each other. We couldn’t make us a priority because there seemed to be so many other priorities.
But that really wasn’t true all of the time. I realized that I was doing this to myself and I needed to change it. I needed to stop making excuses, lame ones at that, which I made to myself. “I’m already away from home at least one night a week, I need to be home, “ that’s a good one I think. Why am staying home? That thought started me down the path of planning some time with some people.
I spent 5 days at my shore house with some of my best friends who I hadn’t spent much time with lately. I then planned some dinners out with a few friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time. When I saw this quote I realized I received it on Thursday for a reason.
I had dinner with my very good friend Debbie on Wednesday night. I don’t know the last time we sat down and talked. Or even saw each other. It could be 10 years; it could be 5. Neither of us knew, but the bond was as strong as it ever was. It took us a while just to look at the menus. We made our waitress laugh with every few minutes of, “we haven’t even looked at the menu yet,” in unison.
We talked for over 2 ½ hours. We laughed. We were philosophical. We were supportive. We were present.
As I drove home from that dinner, I smiled and thought how blessed I felt that she was in my life. My heart was filled with joy and love.
My heart did grow fonder. There is so much love there.