File this under “Things That Are Painfully Hard to Remember”. I’ve known many times in my life that someone is meant to be in it. I may not know how or why, but I know they are. Sometimes I know from the lessons they’ve taught me, good or bad or heart-wrenchingly difficult. Sometimes I know from the comfort they’ve given me. Sometimes I know from the wisdom they’ve instilled in me, directly or indirectly. Sometimes I know from the joy I feel, or have felt, when I’m with them. Sometimes I know because as soon as I looked into their eyes I felt like I already knew them, had known them in a past life. They were familiar to me, felt like some kind of family. Sometimes I simply know from how randomly we met — how many stars had to cross and butterfly wings had to flutter to bring us together. Some of the most important people in my life are in it by mere chance, mere coincidence, and it’s amazing and a little scary to me to think that if one tiny detail had changed we never would have met (and never would have known the option existed to begin with).
All this to say that it can be tempting to try to hold on to people too tightly, to insist they stay in our lives or that they stay in the capacity we want, on the terms we want. It’s simply not possible. But those that are meant to be in our lives — those who still have lessons to teach and comfort to offer and joy to inspire — will always find their way.