How many times do we say to ourselves and to each other how fleeting time is… or… tomorrow is never guaranteed… or… how time flies… or… cherish your loved ones while you can…? And then life happened and I realized that every time I have said that I wasn’t really connected to the absolute truth that time is fleeting and tomorrow is not guaranteed.
For the first time, I’m mourning the entirely too early loss of a friend who is my age and someone I was close with. For about 10 years of our young adult lives we were stuck like glue, despite living 400 miles apart for many of those years. And when I say stuck like glue, I mean totally inseparable like identical twin sisters. Then as many have done, we lost touch and reconnected online. In fact, she found me through my blog and left me a comment on April 28, 2012 which reads:
Let’s play a game…….I met you my senior year of high school…….for a while we did everything together……i was always planned out and you ran like the wind……..we paid for gas in pennies, ate tons of ben and jerry’s……you taught me not to wear a sport’s bra and to walk in heels……..
She didn’t need to sign her name. I knew who she was and remembered every one of those things… and many, many more. Naturally, I had photographed all of the crazy things we did and still have those pictures in my albums.
The past two + years we emailed very often and kept each other up-to-date on all of life’s ups and downs. She read every blog and I sent her pictures of everything that was going on. Now being almost 2000 miles apart, we could only be as close as the words we shared.
She had indicated to me that she wasn’t well l but I didn’t understand the full extent of her condition. I have regret about that. I wish I had understood better. I wish that I would have made more effort, more time, provided greater joy and a sense of peace and encouragement to her. I talked to her and shared what was going on in my life totally unaware that she was quite literally dying. She asked me to send her pictures from my wedding and honeymoon but by the time I got around to it, it was too late. She didn’t get the opportunity to read the last 2 emails I sent her. She would have enjoyed seeing those pictures. I knew she was very happy that I found someone who truly loved me.
I can’t go back and change things. But I can be more present, more thoughtful, more open and demonstrate a greater appreciation for the people that God has blessed my life with. Ultimately, that is the kind of woman I want to be known for: one who is faithful; one who is grateful.
So, to honor my dear friend, on my next trip to Disneyland, I’ll be buying a bag of cherry sour balls to eat while riding Haunted Mansion as we did 100 times many years ago.