On many occasions I have tried to figure out how to write, publicly, about what I consider to be my most significant relationship to date. It’s not a relationship in the dating or marriage sense, it isn’t just a friendship. It’s a bond, a connection, a tie so strong it defied time and circumstance…until one day it just stopped. So tonight I will write, and perhaps you will read and if you don’t, maybe someone who does will feel comfort in knowing they are not alone should they have been in our shoes…
I was young…you, not as young but hardly old. (Just old enough for me to forever remind you you’re older.) You were a mentor and more than once had in me tears while trying to make me stronger, tougher. We laughed, we danced, we drank, we sat in cars and restaurants until the wee hours of the morning. I knew you were someone special the day you drew your house plans on a napkin and told me about all of your projects.
I tried to leave you once. I succeeded. For years there was no you, just memories. I found you again.
For the longest time I wondered when the day would come when I didn’t think of you. It hasn’t. I’ve given up on that one. It’s changed, in so many ways, but you are never far from my thoughts.
You have seen me at my most vulnerable times and know everything there is to know. (Well, most of it.) There have been countless lunches, margaritas, and tears. You cheered me on as the pages of my life were turning and caught me when I fell. Only recently have I started telling others about you and what you mean to me. It saddens me to think you have never done the same.
Not so long ago, on what I feel is one of my worst days yet, you asked me what I needed. To cry? Meet for lunch? Drive? Yell? I chose private. You waited with the bottle of wine, a wine opener, and two glasses. You opened the door and I cried. We sat, chatting and crying, until I had to leave an hour later…and you said you loved me. It was only the third time, in well over a decade, that you said that. It wasn’t the “I love you and need to be with you” I love you. It wasn’t the “I love you like a friend” love you. It’s a love that only you and I and that one friend who knows all about you can understand.
And then one day, about a year ago, you were gone. I didn’t feel the loss immediately as I was busy repairing that worst day ever…but it has hit me, and it’s hit me hard. I used to wonder how I would feel if you were to die. How would I share my sorrow? Wouldn’t you be the person I would want to run to? At one point we even talked about that…
It’s like you’ve died. I’m angry because I didn’t have a say in it. I didn’t fight for it, either. You left and I let you go. I never fought for it. I just accepted.
Fast forward eleven months and there was a happy birthday. If Facebook had a return to sender I would have clicked on it. Social media keeps us close from a distance.
In case you’re wondering, I’m mostly ok. Still the same old me and you will know what that means. The nights are quiet and so I think, sometimes of you, and wonder how I got to where I am.
This month marks 15 years…3 marriages, 6 kids, 2 divorces, way too many jobs, diets, different hairstyles, colors and hair lines, houses, moves and milestones.
2 nights…3 I love you’s …and one broken heart because I miss my best friend.