Wednesday 9 May 2012

The Unexpected

Some days, something happens. Something totally unexpected, that completely floors you.
You see something.....
Or hear something.....
Something that you had no inkling of when you got out of bed that morning, yet it has such a profound effect on you, that you can't imagine ever feeling the same.

Last Friday was that day for me.

I had a lovely visit from a girl I went to school with and I've been thinking about that morning every day since. We have seen each other a few times since leaving school, here and there, but not for approximately the last twelve years. And she is exactly like I remember...the same laugh, the same twinkle in her eye, the same funny sense of humour. It could have been yesterday that we last saw each other, except for the fact that we both had our five year old boys hanging off our leg.

Anyway, I got out one of my old photo albums with the photos of our last school year, and we were happily immersing ourselves in our youth, when she pointed to a photo of a girl I was quite close to at school and said "Did you go to Leanne's funeral?"

She might as well have slapped me.

For a second, I didn't think I could have possibly heard her right. But I knew I had. And I almost couldn't breathe.

Leanne and I had gone through most of primary and secondary school together. We lived around the corner from each other, and went to the same dance school for years. We were even in the same dance company (group) for a while. Although we had other best friends, we hung around in the same circle, and even shared a Queensland holiday with four other girls after finishing Year 12.

So many times in the last couple of years I have thought of her, and typed her name into Facebook, waiting for her profile to pop up, but it never did. I just kept trying from time to time, as I thought that one day for sure, I'd see her smiling face looking back at me. After all, who wasn't on Facebook in this day and age? Now I understand.....

She was such a beautiful person and I have such fond memories of her.
I remember practising our dance routines in her lounge room, for hours on end, and then laughing and giggling, watching tv, while drinking long, cool glasses of cordial.
We both got caught in a rip while swimming at the beach on our Queensland holiday, and had to be rescued by lifeguards. I can clearly remember our complete disgust and disappointment at the fact that, at our one chance of a true life and death rescue, like in the romance novels, the lifeguards on the beach that day were female and not the hunky, sun-tanned males that we'd seen on previous days. Crap!!
In fact, the only time I ever remember seeing her without a smile on her face is when we were caught in the rip just mentioned. She was always so cheerful and smiling. So larger than life.

Apparently her life was cut short due to a battle with stomach cancer. She had left behind her long time boyfriend, (who had since become her husband), and two young boys. My heart just breaks for them.

I don't really know quite why this news has affected me so much. I mean, we had lost touch since school finished, when work and life got in the way.
Maybe that's why.....the guilt of not having stayed in touch, when we'd had a friendship lasting so many years.

Life is so short, isn't it? In a blink of an eye it could all be over, for you or someone you love. That's why its so important to wake up every morning grateful for every minute you have with your friends and family. I already do that a lot due to nearly losing my son a few years ago (read my post
Tears and Ashes here), but it is easy to get overwhelmed and let the small things take control.

It is written more poignantly here....

                                                    Picture Source: Cultivating Happiness

I wish I could tell her one more time how wonderful I thought she was. That she was someone I thought about often, and would have loved to see again. Unfortunately, I can't.

But you know what? There are other people in my life that I also feel that way about.....some whom I haven't seen for a long time.

I'm going to ring them in the morning. It's important to me, that they know.

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