I lost a friend, a very good friend; just heard about it before Christmas. No, let me rephrase this. I lost one of my best friends, she died and I didn’t even know about it. I didn’t know about it, because we weren’t talking.
We weren’t talking since almost 3 years. Not a word…we were cold as ice toward each other and ignored each other perfectly, because we could. We knew there was still so much time left and we would make up and sit one day on the front porch in our rockers -way up in our 80’s- as we always joked we would.
Life doesn’t work like that. We plan and then we get busy adjusting our sails to a wind that we didn’t see coming and it looks like, I have a hard time adjusting my sails right now.
We met in 1999, when Sandy bought the house beside us. “Do you know where there is a gas station with a clean bathroom?” she asked and I invited her in and let her use our bathroom, until the construction workers were done with all the work at her house.
I liked her right from the start. She was very much like me, big mouth and a big heart, combined with a laughter that made me laugh with her, even when I didn’t know what she was laughing about.
She was a widow, in her 40’s and we had a lot in common. We became friends, almost instantly. We just clicked and it went from there. All my friends liked and accepted her as her friends and family accepted me. My husband and her were best buddies, we had great times together.
I have never laughed harder with anybody. I remember one time in a restaurant, the waitress was standing there, trying to get our order and we had to hide our faces in the menu, because we laughed so hard that we couldn’t talk. The waitress had to come back two more times, until we were finally able to talk again without rolling with laughter-she got a generous tip when we left.
My friend was an accident waiting to happen. She was the clumsiest person I have ever met. She could fall over the dog leash of her little Wiener dog and she would fall in slow motion, what made keeping a straight face very challenging. I had to bring her to the emergency room twice, both times because she had done something that only she could do. Like falling of a treadmill, because she put it on high gear while standing on it.
She was one of the closest friends in my life, one of the rare ones that I shared secrets with.
One day she called me and told me that she had met a guy. She was widowed for over 10 years and I was so excited for her, we all were…until we met the guy.
He proposed 2 weeks after they had met and moved right in with her. He came with a few moving boxes and a few bags of dirty clothes.
I didn’t like him, I didn’t trust him and everybody else felt the same way. Sandy was happy, her eyes were sparkling, she was head over heels in love.
I didn’t know what to do or what to say. “You need to talk to her,” was the one thing I heard from all sides. How could I?
She was happy and I wanted her happy, but I also wanted her safe. I didn’t trust that guy, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe none of us knew him good enough to judge him or his story?
They went shopping; new clothes, new tools, new this and that and Sandy paid for all of it. I have no idea what she saw in him.
She got very defensive, each and every time one of us made a remark. She was in love and she was protecting her future husband and I didn’t even blame her. I would do the same for my husband or anybody I love.
A few days later she called me over to her house, she wanted to know what I was thinking. I had debated all along what I should say. I was her friend, wasn’t I the one who should accept everything she did without questioning her? Or was it my job to tell her the truth?
She had a good job, a house, a nice car and she had worked hard for all of it. I just wanted her to protect what was her’s. I didn’t tell her what I thought about her fiance, I just couldn’t.
So I told her that I was very happy for her, but that I thought she should think about letting him sign a prenup.
She got very defensive right then and there and I didn’t even blame her. I had spoken my peace and felt better….she didn’t.
We had stopped talking for a few days when I called her. The conversation we had went south and we somehow decided not to be friends anymore. It was a decision made in anger and neither one of us really meant it.
Her pride…my pride, who knows what we were thinking. I know we loved each other and I know friendship just doesn’t die, but something had gotten the best of us and we decided to go separate ways.
We were still next door neighbors and I believe none of us could really stand it and the timing was perfect, when my husband got a job offer and we moved away, closer to his new job.
Sandy and I never talked again, but I got updates on her and her life from other friends and her family. The guy and her had broken up shortly afterwards, because she had caught him stealing.
All this time I was sitting there thinking that I would call her one day out of the blue. I knew she had scares that had to heal and I felt a little bit the same way.
We were both in our early 50’s, there wasn’t any hurry.
Then I got the call, just not the one I was hoping for. I got the call that she had died, just before Christmas. Out of the blue and it hit me hard; it took my breath away and ever since I am mobbing through the house mumbling to myself.
I should have called her; she should have called me…what were we thinking?
I am mad for all the time wasted…not talking. We should have known better; life can be over in the blink of an eye.
So if you read this and there is someone out there that you love and you haven’t talked in a while. Pick up the phone…