Thinking of some long, lost friends

It was a dreary day today.

Ugly clouds combined with a slow, mostly constant rain that was more sprinkle and drizzle than anything worth measuring.

The “rain” was the kind of rain that just makes everything miserable. The kind that loves to follow a week of nearly everyone being snowed in. And loves to add its weight to already soaked ground and nasty mud.

I know Spring is around the corner, and hope, beauty, and life will arrive in the air soon, but today had me thinking about something I’ve been chewing on for a while now. (Actually, for most of the winter.)

And that’s about long, lost friends. And, no, I don’t even mean those who’ve moved on to the next life.

I mean those who just move on. Sometimes it’s not even a job change or a relocation. (Those make at least some sense.)

I’m talking about that slow drifting apart. Or loss of interest and enthusiasm. Sometimes, there’s a callous word exchanged, or a small wrong committed, that splinters that steel I-beam you considered unbreakable. That steel I-beam that in truth was nothing more than some fragile eggshell.

I’m not really sure of all the reasons these things happen, but I’m increasingly aware of how friends grow apart in life. And it seems no matter how hard I try to reach out, to repair, to rekindle, it’s of little use. That magical time together has passed.

Now the Marine in me says, “That’s life. Deal with it. Move on. They helped you through some tough times, you helped them, as well. We’re meant to help each other for the time our paths run parallel, but life goes on, people move on. Just let it go, man up, and keep moving.”

And I suppose all of this is true.

But on nasty, muddy, gray days such as this, I wonder if they miss me the way I still miss them? I wonder if if they want to resist life’s direction as strongly as I do, and try to salvage what can be salvaged?

My friends will tell you I’m a sap. I bend, I forgive, I tolerate far more than I should.

And it’s true. Goodness knows if you’ve read this post, there’s no shaking the label of sap. (Action fiction writer my ass…)

But on dreary days like today, I miss my old friends.  And on wet and cold days such as this, I commit to being a better person to my current friends. With those acquaintances I’m growing closer to. (And the sap curse grows deeper…)

Unfortunately, it seems clear that friends come and go. We’ll still — usually — rush to each other’s rescue when in need (that foundation will always be there), but things will probably never be the way they once were.

Something happened. Or nothing happened.

And in the winter that eats at everyone’s soul, when life and beauty seems months away, you know they’re gone. You can see through the woods and they’re not there, standing with you in the wet and mud.

On days like today, I miss my old friends. And I yearn for Spring.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

9 thoughts on “Thinking of some long, lost friends

  1. AS the poem goes ” for a season for a reason, for a life time” People
    come and go, in and out of our lives all the time. Sometimes they arrive
    in time to save the day, then as suddenly as they arrived they leave, there
    job for being there done, time to move on. Sometimes people arrive in our lives because its our job to help them, then they to move on to the next
    phase of there lives. Most of the time we fall to notice these comings and
    goings, except when we sit back on a wet and rainy afternoon when we have time to think that our lives are filled with many gifts some given,
    some received. You may not be able to reconnect again, be grateful for
    what was, lessons taught and lessons learned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When we’re young, we think everything is going to last forever. Our parents, friends, marriages, Hell us. And as the planet spins away the days, we slowly realize that nothing lasts. The trick is to figure it out and try to do something about it. Does it work? Not always. Our parents still get old and die, friends move on, marriages crumble. But it’s what we do with it that makes us, gives us those moments where we can say, “You know what, I tried”. Because lack of trying is a tragedy. Life is short, nothing lasts forever. Except the Corps. SF.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, Stan, it’s been a while, and you’re traveling your path and I have mine, especially now that Brandt died last month. I’m trying to figure out where that path goes. (At least you know I’m still reading your posts!)


    1. Oh, Nancy… I’m so sorry to hear that… : (

      Your love and devotion to him (through these past years, especially) has been just such a thing of beauty. An inspiration, for sure, though I don’t have any idea how you’ve handled it so well and been so strong.

      I wish you still more strength as you push forward and adjust.


  4. People stroll into and out of our lives while we run the duration of this mission called Life, Stan. And I guess for all its worth, its what we do and how we treat each other at the time; and how we choose to remember those fond times.


  5. Reason, season, lifetime.
    Many people are friends for a reason, whether the reason is yours of theirs, one it’s done or resolved, so is the friendship.
    Some people are friends for a season; winter, divorce, illness, hobby. When the season is over…so is the friendship. Oh it may linger, but without of a new reason or season, it won’t renew.
    Now about those LIFETIME friends! I recently heard, and upon reflection agree that if you’re friends with someone for 7 years or more – you’re MOST likely to be friends for a lifetime. Guess there’s so much more to that 7-year itch thing than meets the eye.

    One I was able to put some of this into perspective, and these loose categories, it helped me to stop moping “what’s wrong with me” and just be glad that the reason and season folks were pleasant while it lasted.

    I hope you’re blessed with keeping the GOOD memories of the reason and season people and the joy of re-connecting with a lifetime friend with whom you can just pick up the phone and start talking like no time has passed since the last time you two spoke.

    Thanks for YOUR work in keeping us entertained, informed, and insights into history borne of observation, study, avocation, and vocation. Is Danny 5 ready yet? I find I can read faster than you type….doggone it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what a great comment, azhapp!

      You’ve clearly done some deep thinking on friends, as well, and I really like your perspective.

      And my goodness, you’ve made my day with your closing statement thanking me for my work. Speaking of Danny 5, I AM making progress on it. But the first book landed a brutal review that called the series boring and Danny “whiny.” (And they said they had read the first three, which I believe them on that fact.)

      Anyway, one way you could greatly help me is by dropping a positive review on the first book. It only has ten and that first book is the one that’s crucial for the entire series picking up the momentum.

      I’ll make you a deal. You leave a short review on Danny 1 (, and I’ll work twice as hard in getting Danny 5 out!! lol.

      Thanks again for the awesome comment and support, azhapp, and no pressure on that review, obviously.

      Sincerely yours,


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