Once upon a blog, I wrote a post about/to someone.
In hindsight, it was a shitty thing to do. I used a public forum to say something to someone that even then, I knew I didn't mean it.
This week's contemplation: Let's be honest; with ourselves - starting and finishing with ME.
(As Jennifer said, you do you. I'm not judging anyone else.)*
I'm not bringing this up to rehash a bad thing I did, or to get people to read old posts,
I'm writing about it because there have been some recent developments that I am hopeful about and I want to write about it.
In a nutshell, back then I wrote a good bye forever post to my best friend.
I thought I was closing that chapter with that post. I thought 'Get it out of my system and move on! Life is great! You don't need her!'
It didn't take long for me to realize that I do need her. I wasn't going to be able to "move on". Life isn't always great. One thing I also didn't realize was that in cutting her out, I was cutting out her family, who I adored. Truly, I actually keened at her father's wake. I loved him almost as much as I loved my own Dad. Her family is huge, and loving and fun and kind and fabulous. They were my family, too.
The first year, I still harbored bad feelings, and didn't think much about her at all.
The second year, I started having dreams about her all the time. Some were she was in trouble, and I had to rescue her, some were the reverse. Some were we were friends again like nothing had ever happened, other were me begging her to be my friend again and her saying No. I will honestly state that these dreams are still going on, most recently last night. It's been four years of at least three dreams about her a week.
So clearly, I started having regrets. She had blocked me on Facebook, and her family had unfriended me. I was cut off. I knew nothing of her life, or very little - what I could get out of mutual friends, which wasn't much.
Flash forward to about a month ago.
The Girl Scout troop that we had met in was having it's final GS Saturday at the church where we attended meetings. There was a secret group page inviting all of us alums to attend to surprise the leader. My first thought - "Maybe SHE will be there!" I checked the RSVPs on the page, and sure enough - there were 15 Yes RSVPs, of which I could only see 14 of.
In the It'sASmallWorld life of mine, two of my nieces are in that troop, and my sister is a volunteer with them. I asked her to check the rsvps - and sure enough - L was going!
I was super excited. I immediately began writing her a letter. I followed the lead of John Mayer - Say what you need to say. It's true, this could be my last chance. So if I could get her to take and read the whole letter, she'll at least know how I feel!
Then, I checked my schedule. Sigh. Of course, I cannot attend the event. I had previously scheduled myself for a show at Old Town, and we have many new rules for head volunteering, a few of which I'd be breaking if I canceled on this show.
A few days later, I was randomly grocery shopping on a Monday night - something I never ever do. I get my cart and start my way into the produce section, and immediately spot L's cousin, A. I basically run to her, tears all in my eyes. Big hugs. Long conversation. A is 10 years younger than me, so I had been in her life for as long as should could remember, until the last five years. A filled me in on her life, her sister's life, the cousins lives, and a bit of L's life. I told her the truth - how much I missed L, how much I feel like there is a chunk of me missing. Tears again. I told her about the letter. A said "Oh, we are going to get her that letter." We exchanged phone #s. A told me I had always been part of the family to her also, and she had missed me.
So- I called my sister - "Would you be comfortable giving a letter to L for me at the GS thing?" "Sure"
Dropped the letter off (all eight pages of it) the day before the event. Worried on it over night.
Sister calls the next day. L didn't make it to the even either.
I got the letter back the next day. I texted A and asked her to get me an address for L.
I sat on things for a few days. Reminded myself, if I don't send this now, I may never have another chance, or the nerve, or whatever. I sent it via FedEx. I figured I'd find some comfort in knowing that she got it, at least, even if I never heard from her. I let A know that the letter was sent, in case she got some sort of flack. I was so worried that L wouldn't read it. If she disliked, even hated, me as much as I thought she did when we parted ways, it was possible that she was better off without me, and didn't want to re-connect. She may just tear it up.
I got a notice on Monday that the letter was delivered. Not three hours later, I got a very very long text from L. Tears again.
It sounds like she's been missing me as much as I've been missing her. She's very very busy, with her job, three kids, house, boyfriend etc, but we are working on finding time to speak. We were planning on an initial phone call, but she realized that it would be an at least 2 hour call, so now we are looking to plan a lunch or dinner. She's accepted my written apologies, and has asked for my forgiveness as well. There's nothing to forgive. I'm learning. I'm learning that what's past is past, and it does no good to dredge it up, wallow in it. I have a million things I regret from my past. All I keep coming back to is the past five years, and how the best of my oldest jokes are not understood, much less appreciated. When something major happens, I want to tell her first. I want her to know all of the things. I want her to know Erica and Robert my newest niece and nephew, who didn't even exist when we parted ways. I want to know her two youngest, who don't know that I exist.
I want it back. All of it, even the bad. I don't think we'll never ever bicker or fight. I don't think it's smooth sailing from here to forever. I do think that somethings matter way more than others. That I will do everything I can to build a NEW better grown up friendship based on all of the best parts of our previous 20 years.
Because she is my memory. She is the other half of my brain. She is my conscious and my calming inner voice. She is my co-chef when making lasagna, she is the only person I can make a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies with. She is my friend. She is my family.
I was lucky when the very same GS leader previously mentioned told L "Don't go by Vonnie. Don't be friends with her, she's trouble." L ignored her, and walked right up to me and said hi. I was too young to know then, but I sure know now, you don't let that kind of friend go. Ever.
*Maybe a trend in the renewal of this blog? A kinder, gentler Vonnie? I hope so. I'm trying.