I sometimes wonder if I have an attachment disorder. I don’t seem to remember people very well.  Throughout my life I form friendships only to loose track of them. Not only are they lost in life’s shuffle, I have a hard time remembering their names.  It started in school with each grade advancement. Grade school friends were lost when I went to junior high school. High school pals disappeared when I went off to college.  Not too long ago a colleague from medical school days called – it took me a few minutes to realize who she was. The six people in my residency, well, goodness knows where they are now.

I lived twelve years in Chicago; I got to know many people. Only a few ‘survive’ and these relationships are limited to periodic emails just to keep in touch.

You get the picture.

I don’t know if this says something about me, or about Life in general. How hard is it for others to keep in touch with old friends?  Are Life’s friendships normally like an accumulation of friendships, sort of  like collecting spoons, or is Life’s friends more like clothes – you periodically get new ones and discard the old when they are worn out or out of fashion?  I don’t recall consciously kissing off friends. Quite the contrary:  I vowed to ‘hold on’. Bonds were formed, and promises always to be pals forever.  These have failed – utterly.

Worse, people always seem to remember me. It is embarassing when some old friend, co-worker, or aquaintence runs into me. They recall me while I wrack me brains to determine how I know them. ( I’ve often wondered how am I so memorable. No good reason, I am sure. )

Failure to recognize people in public is complicated by my job. Old patients – or even present ones – have the advantage of remembering me as ‘their doctor’, while they may be one of thousands.

I hate the notion of growing old only to end up with 95% of my relationships lost along the way. Will I end life with a few chums all met in the past 5-10 years?

Since so many of lost relationships are from graduations or moves I hope this stops. I am no longer in school; I don’t anticipate moving. So, I can nurture long time relationships now, right?

In the age of the internet – thanks to blogging and Facebook – I have lots of friends – more than I have ever had in time in my life. Already I sense there is no guarantee here either. The Blogger buddies have turned over in the 4 years of my blog’s existence.

I feel grateful for the few friendships who have survived Time. There may be only one or two from each chapter of my life, but they are more precious than diamonds.

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