I’ve heard it said that life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. There aren’t many moments in my life where I’ve been rendered breathless, but if I bother to count them I come up with four moments.
With Monday being one of the most important dates of my life I can't help but hit rewind on the tape of memories that exists in my head while taking long walks down Memory Lane. Has it really been eight years?
Eight years of laughter, tears, sarcastic jokes, fights, marathon phone conversations lasting over three hours, and letters that went into two binders, one for me and one for her. There was a stretch of time when I would tell stories over dinner on Sunday when my father and step-mother went through a phase of trying to be like a "normal" family in that we all ate dinner together albeit at separate tables in separate rooms. I told stories that had my step-brother staring at me in fascination because my stories were usually woven around events in our lives and rarely had happy endings. Years of Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard playing softly on the CD player while talking into the wee hours of the night cherishing the hours we had together every other weekend. Years of always being by her side, her shadow. Years of my holding her at night, brushing her bangs out of her eyes, feeling her head rest on my left shoulder, and listening to her whispered secrets and desperate unspoken pleas for help.
There are individual memories that remain crystal clear in my mind despite my awful inability to remember anything worthwhile. Little things that a friendship needs to survive and thrive such as coming in the door to her room and feeling her arms wrap around me as she slid a note into the back pocket of my jeans which I would read eagerly for each word written was another glimpse into her life, her thoughts, into the part of her that she let only me see. Over time the strength of her grip in our “hello" became a symbol for how much she missed me.
I know that some things never change, and when she hugs me I'll remember just how far we've come and that she misses me still.