I came across an old photo yesterday, of someone I haven’t seen in nearly two decades, holding my infant daughter.
I used to think of this woman as one of my dearest friends. We had a significant history. I encouraged her to find the nerve to take some chances and she made great-for-her life changes. We laughed and smiled often. Then one day, suddenly, she turned away and we lost touch. I never knew why.
I think of her often, particularly at this time of year. She and her dad used to kick tires during Washington’s Birthday turned President’s Day car sales pushes, and her first season without him as a hard one. I silently wish her and Prince William “Happy Birthday” each June 21.
I decided to try and find her to share the photo of her and my Pretty Girl. I found her husband on social media and sent the photo with a note that said that, since I’d been thinking of her, finding the photo seemed to be a sign I should areach out.
He wrote back today and told me that the photo touched her deeply. He suggested she call and she told him that she is afraid to do that.
Afraid. That thundered as loudly as our 17-year separation. I don’t know what happened then or what prompted her to run silent through the years. There have been countless things I’ve wanted to share and I’m sure, things she’d have shared with me. It’s in my hands to decide how to respond to his message.
We are prompted in these moments to step back, examine our hearts and cast one of three votes: put forth every effort and fight for something that is precious; take the position that monitoring and maintenance are the better options; step aside and hold onto the memories.
It’s deciding whether to sign the Friendship DNR.