Dita Parker

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The long goodbye

I lost a friend to the world again. We used to live fifty kilometers, some thirty miles apart. Then we stretched the distance to close to a thousand miles, seeing less and less of each other. Now there are more than five thousand miles to cross and we'll be lucky to see each other once a year. Hubby, always seeing the upside of everything, tried to console me. "Yea, we have a place in the Caribbean!" I guess that's one way of looking at it.

I've lost so many wonderful, crazy, beautiful people along the way because such things as email, cell phones or Skype didn't exist in my early youth. Calls were expensive and often hard or impossible to get through, letters took forever to get where they were going and some never made it and you never learned about it, maybe only never heard from someone again or left someone waiting for news which never arrived.

On a day like this I remember them, so many of them, especially those I never saw or heard from or managed to find again. I remember them because they made me laugh. I remember them because they made me cry. Gave me the most wonderful compliment I've ever received, my first kiss, words sharper than any knife, and the strength to hold on no matter what.

On a day like this life feels like one long goodbye. Almost too many goodbyes to count except I could. All I have to do is remember why I liked them, why I feared them, why they held me enthralled or appalled, why I respected them, how I earned their trust.

On a day like this I'm grateful for all the people I've managed to keep in touch with, ever grateful for all the ways out there to keep in touch. I let them know how much they mean to me. I'm safe in the knowledge that even if I once felt there's no such place as home, I still found one in someone. On a day like this I'm not likely to forget. All the ones I lost to the world will always be here to remind me.

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