Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day to day drudge of our own lives that someone can pass quietly out of their own and we don’t even realize it. I learned this weekend that a childhood friend had lost her battle with cancer. She was someone that I had been really good friends with in elementary school. When we started middle school we didn’t have classes together and like everyone else at that age, we made new friends. I think later she moved and transferred to another school.
We had reconnected on Facebook. To be honest with you when I got the friend request, the name was familiar and that was about it. But she was kind enough to write to me about some of her memories of Riverside Elementary and then all my memories came flooding back. Its strange sometimes how your mind works. Some things about elementary, middle, and high school I can remember vividly and some things have faded away and I have no recollection of them. That is, until someone else starts talking about something and they mention a name or something that happened and it triggers my memory and it all comes flooding back.
I have to admit I was disappointed with myself when I found out she was gone. I knew she was very sick and fighting the battle of her life. I intended to call her, to communicate with her more. But I also didn’t want to intrude upon her at such a difficult time. But even though we had only reconnected in the last year or year and a half, I felt a sense of guilt. But then I realized that the guilt of not having more contact with her was a little self-centered on my part.
I’ve had sort of a rough Summer. I have felt disconnected and at times forgotten. Sometimes, even a little sorry for myself. I have taken offense at perceived slights and distanced myself from people in general. But I’ve come to realize that this all dwells in my mind. I’m very much connected to people. I’ve always been introverted. Not anti-social, just shy I guess. There are times still, when after a conversation, I will kick myself mentally over and over again. Sometimes I think I say too much.
I can focus on a passing comment from someone for days on end. Then realize that it was just a comment and there is no underlying meaning to it. I have spent the last 49 years worrying about what people think of me. I think life is short. We or those we love can be gone in a blink of an eye. So I think I will spend the next 49 years laughing more, trying to be less guarded, try to learn not to hold a grudge, listen more, watch the tone of my voice, and cutting people a little slack. I will try to cut myself some slack too.