By Lisa Quaraglia, Guest Blogger
I had not spoken to my friend Rebecca in about ten years when I decided to reach out to her to catch up one night over drinks. We still live in our childhood homes, which were within a ten minute walking distance from each other, yet we never talked more than the casual “Hey! How are you?” when we would run into each other in the grocery store. I often thought of her, wonder what she was doing, how her relationships were going, and what she was doing with her life. Facebook offered a flurry of party pictures, vacations in the sun, and inside jokes among her new group of friends that she accumulated over the years, the same as mine. It was as if those years of riding bikes, sleepovers, playing at the park, putting on talent shows for our parents, and sharing makeup never occurred.
One day it hit me that I missed her. I missed what good friends we used to be, which prompted me to send her an email that we should get together for dinner. Two weeks later, we met at a local restaurant with another friend of ours from yester-year. The beginning of our meeting had the air of a first date; that awkwardness of resorting to safe conversation (jobs, family, boyfriends etc) before we finally relaxed, had a glass of wine, and let all the gossip of the past ten years flow over. Before I knew it, 3 ½ hours had passed, along with stories from college, excitement over possible engagements, reminisces of grade-school crushes, and never-before-told stories of secrets that were supposed to be taken to the grave. It was nice, comforting, and it felt extremely overdue. We left that night a little fuller in the fact that we realized not much had changed, yet everything was different. We vowed to get together again with other girls from our grade school within the next few months.
Eight days later, Rebecca’s younger brother passed away in his sleep. She had spoken of him the previous week. She said he had suffered from a life-long, yet manageable disease, the same one that took him away at the age of twenty-two years old. As I heard the news through various friends, it struck me as one of those life-teaching moments that timing is everything. What were the chances that I would have contacted her one week before her brother’s death? Why, after more than ten years of not speaking or hanging out, why now? At his wake, I held my composure until I reached the casket; as I prayed respectfully, memories of the annoying, younger brother filled me with sadness, and I broke down. Rebecca and I sobbed into each other’s arms in the procession line; overcome with grief, I vowed to help her through this and that God must have brought us back into each others lives for this reason. I left the funeral home with every intention of calling her in a few weeks to get together.
It has been four months since he passed, and I still have not reached out to Rebecca. I have my hands full with my life, obligations, and situations that just “seem to come up,” at least that is what I tell myself. The truth is, I just do not know what to say to her. We have a mutual past but our presents are not in sync. I do not know her life anymore, or the person she is now. While I know our friendship is not the same, I do take comfort in knowing that we could make a new friendship – built on a foundation of the past and building memories in the future. The opportunity is there, I just hope it doesn’t take one of us another ten years before we realize it.
Lisa Quaraglia is equal parts nurse, writer, cook, and philosopher. She spends a lot of time thinking and talking about life, and love while mixing in sarcastic “Sex and the City” comments into everyday conversation. Her love of writing and curiosity of the world has brought her to IATG. She loves nighttime sky, wine, fancy restaurants and sparkly jewelry.
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