Sometimes life just sucks for those of us still here.
When I was in the fourth grade I met Lynda and we hit it off immediately. We remained best friends for years... when I had problems at home during high school her family took me in until it was worked out, when I was in an accident her mother drove over to take me to the doctor, she was there when my children were born and helped take care of me and them in the first week, and I did the same for her, I loved her as my sister and I loved her family as mine.
Unfortunately, the man she married and I did not get along. He was terrible to her, and he was terrible to their daughter, he refused to work, and even said "Why should I get a job when my wife will support me?" When I found out he was cheating on her, as well, of course I told her. Lynda was always overweight with self-esteem problems, and her family knew that the reason she hadn't already left this man was because she did not feel as if she would ever find anybody else. He told Lynda that I was a liar and was just trying to split them up, and if she wanted to preserve her marriage then she would have to stop talking to me, which she did.
That was about twelve years ago, and I've never begrudged Lynda her choice. I understood why she did it, and I've respected her decision. Just recently, however, as I am coming out of my divorce, I've given thought to looking up some of my old friends. I've found Steve, my other best friend from highschool, and we talk almost daily now. I told him that I was going to take a trip to Tulsa this weekend and was thinking of stopping in at Lynda's parents house to see how they were doing, and maybe looking her up to see if we could renew our friendship...
Steve told me that in December, 2000, Lynda was driving to work and hit an icy patch on the highway. Her car veered off the road and hit another car that had left the road in the same spot. She got out to assess the damage, and a pickup that was traveling the same route as her hit the same patch of ice, leaving the road and colliding with her car, pinning her between them. Lynda was crushed from the waist down and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
It breaks my heart to know that I was too late to ever know this woman in my life again. She had the kindest, gentlest heart and losing her the first time was very difficult, but knowing now that I will never, ever be able to share a conversation with her again is a tragedy. The ache is just as deep as if we had spoken only yesterday.
I know it's sappy, but if anybody out there has loose ends like this that you've dreamed of tying up for who knows how long, please, do yourself a favor and take the first steps. We all hear stories of what it's like to be too late...
Too late sucks.
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