I was told once to never say goodbye, just say “so long”. The idea was that if you say “so long”, you will see them again. Today, I am saying, “so long” to a friend I’ve known since kindergarten. Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of kids in my neighborhood. Once I got to school, I started making friends and quickly became friends with a girl living down the street. We had a lot in common. Her first and middle name was the same as mine. Our dads were the same age difference as our moms. Our dads both served in the Air Force. I was born the day before Valentine’s Day and she was born on April Fool’s Day. We spent endless weekends together, and when I wasn’t at her house then she was coming to mine to hang out. As we got older, we hung out together with our high school boyfriends and later she became my maid of honor. We grew apart as time passed. I moved away to West Virginia, then Maryland. Time just got away from both of us. I would see her every now and then and I even stopped by the jewelry store that she owned once or twice. I’m grateful that I was able to message her just the other week to see how she was doing. I knew that she had breast cancer and that it wasn’t good. I had hoped and prayed that any treatments that she was taking would make it all go away. I don’t know why some people beat cancer, and then other people seem to fight with all the strength that they have and can’t win. Cancer sucks! You would think by now there would be a cure. Maybe there is and they just aren’t telling us. Growing up and going through elementary school, junior high, and high school with my friend, I saw how everyone either wanted to be her, be like her, or be with her. They never got to see the same side that I would see when we would have sleepovers and giggle all hours of the night. Once almost eating the Scrabble game piece instead of the popcorn we were snacking on. We spent the night together when my parents went away and woke up early in the morning to watch Live Aid together on MTV. I remember one Christmas she called and told me to come down, that her parents had bought her the very first game system. We played Donkey Kong and Frogger for hours. A video game system now sat in the room that was formerly known as “the toy room” when we were younger and played Barbie dolls. We would sew dresses for them and had Barbie stuff from one side of the room to the other. To this day, I can’t eat black raspberry ice cream because we put peanut butter on it and I ended up getting sick to my stomach. It had nothing to do with the ice cream or peanut butter, but we ate too much junk food. I remember getting new records or new tapes and later cd’s that I would rush to her house to play. We would sing until we learned every word of the songs. I remember several times almost missing the school bus because she would go rewash her hair and start over because something didn’t look right. She’d change her clothes multiple times and clothing would be thrown around the room like a hurricane just hit. Still, every day I walked from my house to hers to wait for the same routine and same frantic scurry of trying to look perfect just to go to school. As younger kids, we discovered an older lady who was hosting bible school out of her house. We spent hours and hours at Grandma Royer’s house listening to bible stories and both accepting the Lord as our Savior. So again, it’s not goodbye my friend. It’s so long until we meet again. I know you are with our Lord and I will see you again.
Photo by Kat Smith: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-photo-of-holding-hands-735978/