In the past year, I haven’t had much time to really sort out my thoughts. Perhaps I just didn’t take the time. I also noticed that my way of thinking has been jumbled lately. My sentences don’t make much sense. I’m easily angered… not angered, more aggravated. But I’m sitting here in the airport with nothing but time… and I need to write this out.
In the past year, I lost a friend… a neighbor whom I grew to adore. She was older, but my boys respected her. She tutored them. And we could confide in each other. She was an alcoholic. I took a week-long vacation. Towards the end of my vacation, she called me constantly. It annoyed me, so I didn’t pick up. Next thing I hear, she passed away from alcohol poisoning. I felt responsible for not being there at her point of desperation. I was annoyed while she tried to reach out. Sincere folks tried to tell me not to feel responsible. But I know if I had the chance to talk to her now, she would probably tell me I should have answered the phone. I miss her laugh. She had an incredible laugh. My teenagers loved her dry sense of humor. I loved her sincere heart.
Since then, I tried to stay in contact with those around me. Priorities shifted to people first, then tasks. I visited my best friend in Atlanta. It worked out so conveniently because I often had to travel there for work. So, I got to see her regularly. She was not just a regular person. She had a big personality, so friendly and outgoing. She would tell people exactly what she thought… about anything. She didn’t sugar coat – but the way she said things, drew people towards her. She was opposite of shy, quiet me. I was proud to call her my best friend. She had some medical issues, but nothing serious. But, one day, her fiancé called to say she needed me. She was sick and recovering from surgery. That same day I flew up to surprise her. I took care of her that night and morning. We talked a little. She hugged my baby. We talked about her baby. And then I flew back home. We didn’t know that a few weeks later, she’d be gone. I told her I’d see her in a few weeks. But I didn’t. She had cancer. And the cancer spread faster than I could fly back up to see her. It’s been 5 months. And I still cry. I can’t think of a day when I don’t think of her or hear her singing my name. Or when a song comes on we used to sing in the hallways of Kennedy High School. My heart hurts as I desperately relive all our memories in my head, so I’ll never forget. Sometimes I have dreams and she’s right there. I hug her, feel her arm. And it’s like she’s really here. Then I wake up feeling revived. Then a couple days pass…. And today I’m back to missing her.
Some people never say “good bye”. They always say “see you later”. That’s what I said to my 2 friends. I told my neighbor, “See you in a week“. I told my best friend, “See you in a few weeks”. But my heart hurts I wished I could have said goodbye. I wished I could have told them how much they meant to me. I wish I could have hugged them one more time.