HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  So what will this year will bring?  I’m sure it will bring a lot of the same things that last year brought; joy, sadness, anger, frustration, happiness, loss, gain, political angst.  The same emotions we all feel throughout the year, just new reasons for feeling them.  I expect to feel sadness because of the loss of someone very dear to me.  It’s inevitable so the doctor’s say.  I need to do the right thing and hop on an airplane to go visit.  Why is this so hard for me?  Work?  Family?  Duties?  Fear?  Here it is, fear.   Fear for what I’ll find, fear about what is different in the once vibrant, headstrong, slightly heavier person she was.  I saw a photo, and she’s thinner, she’s smiling but there’s tired there.   It scares me.    When we lose someone who is our peer, a close friend; part of us becomes closer to that unspeakable line too.  We are finite, the reality has now been placed at our doorstep.  I lost a friend at 24 years old, she died from a brain aneurysm.  She went into her bathroom after having lunch with her husband and 2 children, ages 3 and almost 1, and never came out.  There was a surrealism to that death because we were so young, but this loss scares me, and it hurts so much.  It hurts my soul.  When I think about her, I can feel the hurt in my skin and in my muscles.   When my friend moved to Florida about 20 years ago we still saw each other fairly often because she had most of her family here, but as time went on her family began moving there and visits became less and less.  I had my third child and never heard from her.  To this day I don’t know why.  I never asked.  We reconnected when Facebook became popular, but I never asked her why I did not hear from her after the birth of my child.  Maybe I didn’t want to know the answer.  We never argued, or even had a slight difference of opinion; at least not that I’m aware of.  So we lost quite a few years.  I saw her at the first birthday of her grandson.  It was as though we never lost touch.   Even if we don’t speak often, I cannot imagine a world without her in it.  I’m afraid of getting that phone call before I have a chance to get down there.  What’s holding me back?  Money?  No.  Time?  No.  I really don’t know.  I have to get down there soon though, then and only then will it be a “Happy New Year.”

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