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.