>> Thursday, January 13, 2011
Dana died. She died nine days ago and I'm crying for the first time tonight.
She was a really good friend -- we were all good friends. We were The Girls. I don't have a The Girls anymore. I haven't since then.
We lost touch in the years after high school, sometime during college. Time passed, people change, almost shape-shift. When I heard of her passing, I felt like I was hearing about someone else. A different Dana than the one I know. Than the one I knew.
So I was numb to it for a while there. It didn't sink past my information-processing brain receptors down deep into my heart. But today, it hit.
Dana died. I will not see her again. Will not hear her laugh. She is gone.
I feel this tug between those of us who were there then, who were with her when we were all in the very first part of becoming who we are, and those who know her now. Who were in her life during these recent years, after some of us had lost her.
We had something special in those high school days. A friendship so much deeper, richer than our young years could explain. Back when we were all in the same place, five days a week. When we had nothing else pulling our time and energy, nothing else drawing from our reserves and so everything -- everything -- could go into our friendships.
I haven't had a circle of friends like that since. I have had, and have, dear friendships and close girlfriends, but nothing like the dynamic of, the entity that was, The Girls.
We loved. We loved each other so much. And I believe we still do, that we still carry each other, tucked into hidden pockets of our hearts, crouching in the dusty corners and resting in the little cracks and grooves that form through life; that we still hold each other and those memories and take that love and have let it become part of who we are so that no matter where we go or how much time has passed, we still have each other in there, somewhere. That's what happens when someone helps shape who you are.
It's not just Dana. It's all of my Girls. We have grown and drifted and traveled and wed and partnered and careered and mothered and the big pot of energy and time we all hold has more straws pulling from it now. And so we drift and let drift.
But Girls -- my Girls -- if you are out there somewhere, I send this little note up with a balloon and hope that it reaches you, send it singing on the breeze and I hope that you catch it, I hope you feel it brush your cheek or the back of your neck while you sit by the lake or hike your mountain or dance a thousand pirouettes across the floor or pour over the paper on a sunsoaked couch or sip your coffee at the kitchen table, and I hope you sense it and feel it and know it and remember that
you are loved.
And you are remembered. I carry you with me even when I don't see you there, tucked away in my heart's pockets. And I want to be a tiny hidden stowaway in your heart, too. I want to jump in and hunker down and ride along on your journey.
I love you and I miss you so very, very much.
fare thee well, sweet friend.