Ten years is a long time. Things change: addresses, occupations and friendships.
Ten years ago this week, my friend Mary and I were mourning the loss of our friend Billy. It was a life cut short way too soon.
Mary & I had just returned from an adventurous road trip to Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming. We'd just picked up my 12-week-old Corgi pup, Kona. Life was good. And life as we knew it was about to change enormously.
Suicide will sweep you right off your feet, break your heart and cause you to run a gauntlet of feelings. Loss and sadness mix with questions, anger and confusion. How could he? Why would he? What should I have done? What if? It's hard to find closure, peace and forgiveness.
It takes years to pick up the pieces, and yet your heart wrenches when you read about another young person who's taken his or her life -- because you know the pain that circle of friends and family is going through. Your heart still skips a beat when you glimpse someone tall and dark-haired who has a slim resemblance to your lost friend.
Here we are, ten years later. Mary and I have both changed and grown. But we haven't grown apart, despite living 700-some miles away from each other. Sure, we don't see each other as much as we would like to, but with Facebook and e-mail, we've stayed in touch. I'm so happy to call her my friend, proud of what she's accomplished in the past ten years. It's a long-distance friendship that I will cherish forever.
Today, take the time to call that friend you've been "meaning to" touch base with. Type up that e-mail you've been putting off. Smile at someone.