11 years ago I packed up all my worldly possessions and drove them across the state of Georgia to reside with my husband. Wasn't much, it all fit in a Dodge Shadow, but it was mine and I still have most of it. I knew no one in my new town, just my husband and his family. I had no friends, no relatives close to me, no one who knew who I was and I was ok with that. I was ok with that for five years, then my father died. At his wake there were so many people, there were friends and colleagues of my brothers there to show support, there were friends of my sister, there were friends of my mother, and friends of my father but there were no friends for me. There were only two people, in the whole room. who were there just because they knew me. One was my husband and the other my black sister (and really she is a sister to the whole family and I can never repay her for sitting with us at hospice). I realized at that moment that I had no friends. I knew no one where I lived, if I had died at that moment no one in the town I lived in would even notice that I was no longer around. I think this affected me more than my father's death. It showed me how alone I was, and although I really don't like people, I hate being alone. I made the decision, on the long ride home, that I was going to get to know my community. I was going to be involved, not just exist. So I did the one thing I know how to do well, I got on the internet and I talked. A lot! I found a community message board for the county I was in and I talked and chatted and vented and ranted and interacted with people. I met other stay at home moms and went on play dates. I immersed myself into the area and I was so much happier for it! I became someone - people knew me, people recognized me, and people liked me! After a year of being involved, I no longer worried that my death wouldn't be noticed. I knew that if I were to die, people would mourn me.
And now I sit in a new town, with no friends, and I worry that if I were to die tomorrow no one in my town would know who I am or that I was even gone. I remember all I did to meet people before and I don't know if I can do that again. It was easy meeting other moms of pre-schoolers but all my babies are in school. And it was easy chatting away all day on message boards but I've found that I have no patience for the back biting and ignorance that tends to come with them. I know that in a few weeks I'll be comfortable enough with the school to start volunteering and maybe I'll make acquaintances, but probably not friends. I'm not sure I can handle making friends again. I don't know if I want to.