Most people have one person in their lives who will never be forgotten. One person that chance, fate or God brought around. They may have lived in our childhood or perhaps they came into our lives for only a summer. We have all been told, “We don’t ever fully know what we have until we’ve lost it”, but maybe the true knowledge of love or friendship comes when, after many moons between, it steps back in our lives, if even for only a moment.
I met my childhood friend in elementary school. We were inseparable; Two little odd girls that stood against the world. We grew up and our friendship grew with us. We became sisters, sharing all of our secrets and appearing to others to have some sort of invisible shield around us that made us untouchable to any ‘outsiders’. Like so many other life-stories, ‘time’ became our enemy. After all the years that stand between us, I find a haze in my memory, trying to remember exactly when and why ‘time’ was able to start cutting our bond. We slowly became two faces that just simply passed in the halls. Middle school came and went then high school trickled along and the distance between us grew to a point that the gap couldn’t be closed… But then again, I didn’t have the courage to try.
I was going through a hard time in my life and later found out, so was she. My medical problems led me to home-school and her situation led her out of state. My life carried-on but not without her close in mind. I always felt her in my heart and wondered how life was treating her. Was she happy? Throughout sixteen years, even with absolutely no contact, I’d catch myself talking about her and wishing I could just pick up the phone and talk to her. I’d pray to see her again, to just know if she was happy now, to know if she was even alive. Even though she felt to be another world away, I never gave-up hope.
While out shopping last night, I caught a glimpse of a woman. My heart seemed to stop. She looked right at me but seemed to instead, be looking through me. After a brief pause, I too walked away but seconds later realized I couldn’t let this once-in-sixteen-years moment pass by without knowing for sure; Was that her? I went back and tapped her on the shoulder; I knew as soon as she turned around that it was her, all grown up. It seemed to take her a split second to recognize me, too, but when she did, her eyes got as big as mine. After all this time and all the years that she had felt ‘lost’ to me, like someone who had just vanished without reason, there she was.
We spoke like two old acquaintances, not knowing what to say after all these years. Truthfully we didn’t know each other any more but my heart still filled with so much love at that very moment. I walked away from her last night not knowing if I would ever see her again and wondering if she had ever thought about me as equally as I had held-on to her; I didn’t feel closure…. But after several hours of quiet time and many prayers later, I found my answer.
True love is fragile and we’re not always the best keepers of it but it’s always worth the journey. I may never see her again, though I hope I do, but I thank God for the glimpse, for answering the prayer I had prayed for many years, “Just let me know if she is OK”, and he did. He showed her to me and allowed me that moment, that knowledge. I now know what I’ve always known; True friendship and true love will always stand the test of time. Even if she stays only a memory from now on, my prayers have been answered… After a sixteen year journey, I now have closure.