Day Four: NaBloPoMo. Not in the mood for chastising.
November 4, 2007
Dear Childhood Friends,
It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen many of you, but you’re not far from my mind. You exist in and around the shadows that surprisingly haven’t diminished with time, reminding me of how special you were. How much you helped shape who I now am. And I wonder more than you might think about where you now are, who you’ve become, and whether your life has been a good one.
Becky, I think you’re the one I remember the most. Unfortunately, much of that memory is tinged with sadness. We had so much fun in that ridiculous clubhouse your father built and that strange van with the running boards he used to drive. I could recall more detail at this point, but don’t need to. The details are there when I want them to be. It’s funny that I now realize the memories aren’t like video. No one moves or speaks. There’s no sound. They are just like photos kept in a box. Still shots of games we played, and fun we had.
I remember how broken-hearted I was when you moved away, and then later, that you had clearly matured more quickly than I. Somehow, I was embarrassed and felt betrayed. I’ve always wondered how you felt being pregnant at such a young age and then marrying the boy. It was so far from something I would have done myself then, still wanting to believe in fairy tales and perfect lives with happy endings. Houses with paned windows and chinneys that puffed smoke when it was cold. But I’m sure it wasn’t anything you expected either, was it?
If I remember correctly, the last time I wrote to you was after I had my oldest son. Was I responding to one of your letters, or was I writing to you? And who stopped writing first? I suppose it’s difficult to keep a lifetime relationship alive on only three years of a childhood friendship and 3,000 miles of country between the two of us. Isn’t it? But I’m sure it’s been done.
I hope you’re healthy and that you’ve been fortunate in the ways that matter most to you. And that maybe, once in a while, you remember me with as much fondness as I recall the laughter and imagination you brought to me.