I've been doing some fierce strolling down memory lane lately. The last few weeks have been spent going through numerous photo albums and getting all teary eyed. Damn you, emotions!! How is it possible that people I loved so deeply are no longer in my life? How did I let these relationships fade away? More importantly, how can I reconnect?
I began by reaching out to an old friend I hadn't seen in a while. We met for tea one afternoon and it was like slipping into a pair of great, old jeans; you know the ones you're shocked still fit and make you add a little bounce to your step?? We talked for hours, not about the past, but about the present. We discussed our kids, our lives, our journey. I've always admired her strength for soldiering through some pretty tough stuff and was honored to know she felt the same about me. We shared laughs, war stories and scones and promised to never let so much time go between visits again. It was exactly what I needed to push me to reach out to others.
Since the diagnosis, I no longer take my future for granted. While yes it's true that life itself is terminal; people with a life threatening disease are acutely aware of the fact. We live each day knowing our lives could turn in a moment and that turn could be devastating. I've stopped putting off what I need to say and how I need to change. Now I'm working on reaching out to those I care about. I want the people who have affected my life to know what they mean to me today and never have to wonder. I want to document our time together. I want pictures of backyard bbq's and drunken bar hugging and dancing in the streets. I want it all and I want it now. Why wait? Tomorrow isn't promised.
There is a great line from the movie 'Fever Pitch' where Jimmy Fallon is talking about his undying love for the Red Sox and a kid asks him, "Have they ever loved you back?" I think about that line often and when my answer is yes, I know I'm going in the right direction. I guess, in the end, I want to know I made a difference in a positive way. What have I taught you, what have I learned from you, did I make you laugh? Did I love you and did you love me back?