I hadn’t seen her in over 10 years. Occasionally her name would appear in a comment on my social media posts. A smiley face here -A thumbs up there - Once in a while asking me to call her. When I tried to call the number she posted, it was incorrect, and I was met with a recorded message that the number had been disconnected.
Months went by and she again posted the correct number and asked me to call. I did and left a voice mail with my phone number in case she wanted to call me back. She never did.
A couple of weeks ago another familiar name caught my eye in a comment under one of my posts. This time from her sister that simply said, “I don’t know if you heard but….”
My friend had passed away.
I was stunned. I sat back in my chair reading the sentence over and over. The sentence that took me back to 7th grade when we were best friends. When we spent summers swimming at the local pool and talking about boys. The nights we would walk around our neighborhood and look at the stars. The shopping, movies, phone calls and giggles.
One day we were at a park and I climbed to the top of the playground slide. I held the sides of the ladder, looking out across the countryside and sang a song by
“I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles…. Oh yeah.”
She laughed and laughed – partly at my horrible singing and partly because we really could see that far across the never-ending field and that far into the lives we had ahead of us. It was her laugh that I heard as I sat back in my chair not believing what I had just read.
Interestingly a month earlier, I had been contemplating how friendship can be deep and yet time, location, and so many circumstances can change the dynamic of the relationship. I wrote about the ebb and flow of friendships and how difficult it is to keep these deep connections through the years.
(You can read that writing here.)
I regret not trying harder to call when she asked me to. I regret all the disconnected years since we ran through that playground.
I feel the loss. The loss of a person who knew my teenage secrets. The loss of the person who stood up with me at my wedding in 1976. The loss of a friendship. The loss of that laugh in my life.
I hope my sweet friend is in a place where she can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles…. Oh yeah.
Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“Make the phone call. It may be the last chance you get to hear your friend laugh.”(Click here to TWEET!)
**If you don't know the song - here is a video.
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