A couple of years ago I made a new friend. We had a lot in common: cancer, love of dogs, interest in writing. My friend taught me how to garden. We took trips together. We shared personal and family milestones.
Recently I realized I hadn't heard from this friend in a while, and so I tried to get in touch by phone and email. I asked if I had said or done something of concern. Turns out I had, several months ago, and we never discussed it. So it came as something of a surprise when this friend told me a break was needed.
At two other times in my life, a close friend has told me that they needed a break. In one case I simply never heard from that friend again, and being young and not very mature, I never pursued it. In the other case, soon after our falling out I moved across the country. (These were the days before the internet.)
I know I'm not perfect. I think I'm pretty aware of my character flaws and traits. And most of my friends love me in spite of, or even because of who I am. I'm proud to say that I have close friendships with both men and women that have lasted for many years. These friendships have deepened as we have traveled up and down life's roller coaster together.
Still, I miss the friend who broke up with me. I hope that someday we will be able to pick up the pieces.