The Importance of Friends

jessica is coolWhat are good friends?” you ask? Let me tell you…

See, I had this friend in high school, and he went away to college just as my Junior year began. I had the biggest crush on him (he didn’t know) and it was such a shock to not see him everyday in the halls, or after school, etc. We kept in touch, partly because he was such a big influence on who I was, on who I became during that time.

Time flies by and it’s time for me to go away to college. I chose the University of Arizona. Far, far away would I be. Too far, in this case, for too many things/reasons. First semester – should have gone to more classes. I had a little too much fun, and second semester was going to be all the more important to bring the grades up.

Halfway into the second semsmeter, I get a call. I don’t remember who called first, a woman close to the family or my mom. This was the jist of the phone call……

Jess, Eric’s been in an accident. It’s pretty bad – they’re not sure if he’ll make it through the coma.”

Can you imagine what was running through my mind at that time? One of my best friends – almost gone. And I couldn’t be there to say goodbye, or to tell him I had the biggest crush on him in high school, or to tell him I really did think he’d make it someday. Nope. Forget that. Try waiting and waiting and hoping and waiting and calling and waiting. For a few days. I just wanted to be home, to be at the hospital – to stand in that room with my fingers crossed. Just to see what would happen.

The semester ends. Horribly. I get booted out of Arizona. I fly home, and visit him at the hospital. I can’t believe what I see. It’s so hard for me, I barely speak to him; when I get to the car, I am in tears. All I could think was how unfair this was.

Fast forward to now. I’ve lost all forms of communication with him. And it hasn’t been by mistake. It was all my fault – and it bothers me each and every day. I was just too scared to make the call, to send the email, to drive the car to his house.

He’s back in college now. He’ll graduate this spring. He’s doing exceptionally better than when I last saw him. How do I know? He emailed me.

Yesterday.

He broke the silence. And I’ve never been more excited. This friend, that I took for granted, that I lost touch with because I was too scared; managed to look through that and reconcile the past.

So, to all you out there – don’t let this happen to you. You know who your real friends are. Pick up the phone, give them a call. Send them an email. Drive over to their house and share a {insert beverage of choice here} remembering the old days. Cause honey, they’re gone. And nothing comes closer to what you once cherished.

And Eric, I’m so glad you wrote. I’m sorry and thank you a million times over.

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