Friday, August 1, 2008

Let your friends know you care about them.

I got an e-mail a yesterday from a high school friend that I haven't talked to in a while. She wanted to let me know that a girl we went to junior high with and were close to then was in the hospital getting treatment for cancer, and that the prognosis doesn't look good.

Ah, where to begin...

The last time I saw Robin was in maybe 9th grade. All through junior high we were fairly close. She was the first person I snuck out of my house with, the first person I exchanged those "best friends" necklaces with, the one I spilled my guts to when I thought I was in love with a boy in 6th grade (and 7th grade, and 8th grade). I remember a lot of laughter, and some fights, and some crying, and some more laughter. The scent of Debbie Gibson's Exclamation is forever tied to Robin in my mind.

Somewhere around 9th grade, Robin's family moved away (her family was interesting - they were into Civil War reinactments, and her father was into taxedermy, the product of which filled her parents' bedroom and creeped me out to no end) to a small southern Missouri town and I never spoke to her again. I heard she got pregnant either while in or shortly after high school and got married, but other than that, we completely lost touch. I don't even know her married last name.

And now she's in a hospital fairly close to my house getting chemo that might not work.

There's a Beth Nielsen Chapman song that keeps running through my head:
Emily

My oh my, time sure flies
I like what you've done to your hair
I've been fine, yeah, these boys are mine
That must be your little girl there
Some friendships grow distant with time
And it's no wonder, Emily, so much can change
We're too far to visit, too busy to write
But a closeness between us remains

Best friends are made through smiles and tears
And sometimes that fades over miles and years
But I knew right away when I saw you again
Emily, we'll always be friends

I still sing now and then
Mostly at weddings for friends
And I just bet you still get
A yearning to paint now and then
They tore down our whole street
Now there's a bank where the house was we shared back in school
Remember we both have each other to thank
For all the boyfriends we're not married to

Best friends are made through smiles and tears
And sometimes that fades over miles and years
But I knew right away when I saw you again
Emily, we'll always be friends

Stay as you are and you'll go far
You signed my yearbook
Don't forget me when you're a big star
We can't stay, it's getting late
And they said not to let you get tired
We'll just be up the street
The number's right here by your side
Oh no it's no trouble
I don't want to hear how all this changes my plans
I'll see you tomorrow
Call me tonight, Emmy, please let me do what I can

Best friends are made through smiles and tears
And sometimes that fades over miles and years
But I knew right away when I saw you again
Emily, we'll always be friends

Robin was my best friend.

Part of me wants to run to her bedside and let her know I still remember her and think of her often and even love her for what she represented in my life at a time when I didn't know what a real girl friend was like (I was the only girl in my 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes). But I haven't seen or spoken to her in almost 20 years and I can't help but think a reunion at this time would be a little awkward, and maybe even selfish.

So I don't know what to do, other than think good thoughts for her and her family. Please do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Run to her!!! As friends, we may not always remain close, but we will always remain friends. Times change, personalities change, but we always hold on to memories. A moment away from current reality might just be the reason you were contacted to begin with. Guidance is out there, and it sounds like something is telling you now is the time to say hello.

    If I were to put on my psychotherapy hat, I would say you are more concerned about it being awkward for you which enables the thought that it might be selfish. In reality, you shared something special with this person and that something special might just be what lifts here spirits for the day.

    Remember the fights we used to have? Remember that it is still a special day every time I see you and Mr. Wonderful! Sometimes, a hug and a smile is all we need.

    Take a chance, if she is alone she will welcome the company. If the room is crowded you can rest your mind knowing that love still surrounds her. Either way, it may be awkward but it is a win-win.

    If only I could step out of my life long enough to tell myself these things. I guess that is why my shrink gets the big bucks. If only I could get a degree utilizing my life experience. I digress ...

    I love you guys soooo much! I hate that I am 4 hours away! I love that you call when your in town!

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