And you thought that only a wimpy kid kept a diary...
Somehow as the last fifteen years have passed, the importance of relationships has slipped away as well. Life became a battle for survival, not an experience of enjoyment. I have never been an open person, never sharing with many people but that circle has continued to shrink to only a small handful of people. The demands of a family and work trumped the extras--picnics, parties, even phone calls. Anything that wasn't on my Outlook calendar wasn't done and if you weren't on the path between the house, work, and church then I have missed you.
During those same years, experiences have changed who I am and how I react. Life has made me distrusting of most people because if you trust someone and are open to them you give them the opportunity to hurt you. I've learned that the hard way on a couple occasions. As I trusted less and the responsibility mounted higher, that circle continued to shrink further and further.
In one phone call with the utterance of just one word, the cost of my isolation is calculated. Cancer. How can my friend have cancer? More importantly how is it that we haven't even exchanged an e-mail in probably a year? We haven't even seen each other in a couple years and she lives in the same county.
As scared as I am for her and her family, I am equally angry with myself. I wish that I could have been there when she first started to feel bad. I wish I was there a month ago when she went to the doctor. I wish that this wasn't the first call we had in the past year! I really wish that for the previous two weeks when I just kept thinking that I needed to call her that I would have done it right then! Not waiting until I thought she'd be at a break in her home school day. Not when I would have just the right amount of time to spend undisturbed.
Cancer may try to take away valuable time from my dear friend but it cannot take away who she is. Cancer cannot take away memories of us at our high school prom. Cancer cannot take away a connection that allows us to talk after years like no time has passed. Cancer cannot take away her great laugh. Cancer cannot take away her spirit.
This is the chance for a negligent friend to step up and be there when it really counts. We have a lot more memories to make, especially since that scar on my arm has faded away. What really counts are those you love. I need to make sure that those who are important in my life know how much they mean to me.