As we drove to the triangle area this weekend to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday, I found myself thinking about the first boy I ever fell in love with. He was cute, funny and nice and I was 16, so that’s all it took to sweep me off my feet. You see, two years ago as we drove to visit my in-laws for my FIL’s birthday, my phone started buzzing with texts and Facebook messages telling me that my sweet Scott had died in a car accident.
Those words felt like a sucker punch and my breath was totally taken away. Now, at that time, I was madly in love with my husband and hadn’t talked to Scott in almost a year, but it didn’t lessen the hurt. I dialed my best friend’s number, while crying hysterically and shaking my head to my my (now) husband as he mouthed, “Do I need to pull over?” When Brittney picked up she just said, “Oh Ash…. ” and let me cry. Because that’s what best friends do. When I had finally calmed down my crying to a whimper we said goodbye, and my mom called. I think moms have a sixth sense for when daughters are crying from hundreds of miles away. I broke down again.
My mom had listened to me cry over him for years and had also seen the way I lit up when I was around him. He left for the Marines when I was 17, breaking my heart for the first time. There were many more times, and many more reasons, but I always held out hope for us. I even told one guy on our second date that we probably wouldn’t work out and I’d end up with Scott. We even ran into him that night and he told that guy that if he hurt me he’d have to answer to him. I loved talking to him. He could make me laugh over the stupidest stuff. We ended up with a really great friendship and he asked me when I started dating my husband if it was serious and upon hearing me say “yes”, he decided to let me be happy and not interfere.
I realized at some point that day that I had been called twice the night before by a number I didn’t recognize. The sinking feeling in my stomach told me it was him, and after a few quick messages to mutual friends, it was confirmed. I didn’t have his new number. I ignored the calls (it was 2 AM) and he didn’t leave a message. I would never know what he wanted when he called. And I don’t necessarily need to, but life is short. We don’t have all the time in the world to talk to people (or do all the things we want) like we think we do. We should make a point to reach out to people before it’s too late and tell them that we love them, catch up, stay current.
I have sorority sisters all over the country that I need to do a better job of keeping up with (I am thankful for Michelle in Charlotte and our dates every few months). I need to make more plans to see friends and family or take the time to schedule a phone chat (Erica, me + you this week!). My BFF and I realized the other day we haven’t seen each other in MONTHS and we only live 2.5 hours apart. While I think relationships/friendships should work both ways, we shouldn’t be scared (or too stubborn) to be the first one to reach out. You never know when it will be your last chance to talk to someone. I’ve heard so many crazy stories lately (heart attacks, fire ants, hit by a car while running…) that you just can’t assume you have time.
Not to sound all gloom and doom, this is more to prompt you to reach out to that college friend you loved so much but haven’t talked to lately, or cousin who moved to Ohio and you don’t get to see as often as you’d like, or your childhood BFF who now lives in San Diego and is 8 months pregnant. It’s so easy to send off a text, an email, or set aside 30 minutes to call someone. I challenge you to make plans to catch up with 3 people over the next 3 weeks. I bet you have a great chat, find out some new things and you might even make their day.