Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Loss of a Friend

We haven't really talked in years. After high school our lives just went in different directions when I dropped out of college to get married and her dad took a huge promotion and moved the family to the NE. She graduated college in 5 years with a Master's Degree in some kind of Engineering, I had a beautiful baby boy.

We kept in touch on and off. She was in town the week I found out that I was pregnant. She had moved back to the area when she was pregnant with her first one. We kept trying to get together for lunch or dinner or something, but circumstances prevented it. I saw her right after her son was born, but she moved away then. She found my email address and we emailed for a bit, but life gets busy doesn't it? I was in the process of changing jobs, buying a house, starting over after the divorce. She was pregnant with #3.

Three years ago (when our 20 year high school reunion was cancelled due to lack of participation) 10 of us got together and had dinner at a nice restaurant, but no one had a chance to really visit and catch up. We all passed around our email addresses and telephone numbers and promised to stay in touch. It was a lie.

This morning there was a note on the counter from my son. Apparently her husband was trying to track me down and remembered BabyBoy's name and found him on MySpace. "I am trying to contact (using maiden name), if she is your mother, please let her know that her good friend (using both married and maiden name) passed away this morning."

She has battled cancer for some time. I didn't know. I didn't really know her at all anymore. But, at one time, I knew her better than I knew myself. At one time I knew her phone number better than I knew my own name. She was there for my first kiss (it was a game of "spin the bottle" so she was probably watching), my first date, my first broken heart. There were many nights of staying up late to watch videos on TBS. (MTv existed, but we didn't get it). We were in band together, Student Council, National Honor Society. We went to dances together when we were both boyfriendless. We dated some of the same people. My first memory of her is from kindergarten. It never bothered her that she wore bright colored socks that in no way matched her outfit. She was only 40.

There should be more time. She should be there when her oldest starts to drive next year, when they all graduate from high school, from college. When her only daughter goes shopping, first for a prom dress, then a wedding one. She should be there when the grand babies start to arrive.

She should be there just in case one of us finds the time and has the inclination to pick up the phone.

Rest in Peace, CJ.


Shel said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know I'm thinking of your and sending good thoughts your way.
- Shel

LeftLeaningLady said...

Thank you!

fallenmonk said...

It's a bitch, life that is. It is so easy to feel guilty about what you didn't do or the phone call you didn't make but rest assured that CJ cherished the time and experience of having you in her life. The same for you...remember the good and the bad and dwell upon the positive. There is never enough time before but there is a wealth of time to remember.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Thanks Fallenmonk, because of course I am beating myself up. But I am enjoying the memories also. The fact is we didn't have a lot in common anymore, but she was an awesome friend years ago. I truly hope you are right and that she could say the same thing about me.

Robert Rouse said...

My best friend had a heart attack and died just before my 53rd birthday. I attended his funeral and gave the eulogy the day before my birthday. Because we now lived over a hundred miles apart, I was shocked at the great number of people attending his service who I had never met. It's amazing how much of a life we both both had outside the boundaries of our friendship. In many ways it was like I didn't really know him anymore. Yes, we do need to stay in touch with our friends - and family. You never know when we will never get that one last chance to visit. By the way, I found your blog via a comment you left on one of my friend's blogs you said you found by chance. I guess even in cyber space, we run across people by chance, just as we do in real life.

Robert Rouse
Left of Centrist