Archive for October 6th, 2007

A friend lost…

I got the news Friday morning. A friend of mine had been killed. An act of violence had ripped a beautiful giving person away from me, her family, her friends…

I remember our last conversation so vividly. She called me with some news a little over a month ago, and was so excited. So full of life. It sounds cliche, but I agonize over why I hadn’t made time to call her since then. I’d meant to. I’d thought about it often. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I never will.

I think our friendship often perplexed people. We were so different. We really didn’t have much in common. We were both raised in small towns, and raised Catholic. That’s where the similarities ended. She was tall, thin, athletic, and beautiful. The type of beauty that turns heads and makes men beg for introductions. The type that invites stares even in her worst work-out gear. She worked out daily, and ate healthy. On the other hand, while she was doing abdominal crunches and eating boiled egg whites, I was watching T.V. and eating raw cookie dough.

There was something about being around her. We once went roller-blading together – of course, she bladed along gracefully while I struggled behind sweating and red-faced, until I collapsed in the grass and had her finish the trail without me and meet up with me later. She made everything athletic look easy. I tried out raquetball – she borrowed my raquet and made it look effortless. She went with me to some plays and dance performances. I went with her to a few fashion shows. She’d attempt to explain to me how fashion shows mattered, when I couldn’t imagine anyone wearing the couture on stage. She was so understanding, yet pulled no punches. She’d look at my clothes and laugh, with comments like “You bought that in the 80’s, didn’t you?” or “Oh, this is so you!” She’d try to help me understand why I really should never wear tangerine orange – ever. She’d take me to a store and show me how really lovely a new pantsuit or jacket could look on me.

The last time I spent a day with her, I had such a great time just talking to her for hours. Though we had so little in common, we always found conversation easy. Why didn’t I talk to her more often? I ache to talk to her now. I keep hoping it’s just some horrible mistake. I can’t imagine what her family is going through.

There always seemed like there would be time later – time to talk more, time to take photos, time to tell her just how fantastic she is. Time’s up so suddenly. I think I might have one photo of the two of us – somewhere. It never seemed important before. Now I want to hunt for it, find it and frame it though it’s a hideous photo my mother took of us.

I want to scream “Wait! No fair! No warning!” She wasn’t supposed to go for 40 years yet, old and gray, but still beautiful, surrounded by loved ones. Not like this. Not ripped away violently.

You know what else upsets me? Despite this punch in the gut experience, I’ll probably make the same mistake again. Eventually lose someone else with things left unsaid, photos left untaken, and not enough time spent together.

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