Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sometimes in life, you get a chance at a do-over
I had a friend (I'm calling her Robin) in elementary school. Our families knew each other so we used to play together when we young. We stayed friends in high school, but after graduation we lost touch.
Things happened faster for Robin than they did for me. When I was still in college, she sent me a letter. She had that kind of handwriting you could identify immediately. Big curvy letters. I knew it was from her before I even looked at the return address.
The letter was filled with good news. She moved away, found someone special and had a little baby. A boy. I remember how she gushed about her newborn son. It was one of those really happy letters, and you just don't get those often enough.
Babies are big events. I thought it would nice to send a little gift so I didn't write back immediately. I meant to go the mall and buy a present. I meant to send a card. But I had finals and papers. And a busy college life. And somehow it slipped by.
Days passed. Then weeks. I started to feel embarrassed. I remember putting the letter at the back of my desk so I couldn't see her handwriting, thinking I'll get to it soon. Months went by. And then it felt like it was too late. I put the letter in a box and went on with my life. I graduated from college, went to grad school, got married, moved many times, became a librarian, got a book published (coincidentally, getting letters and writing people back play a really big part in my book, too).
Robin went on with her life, too.
A decade or two flew by and the world changed. We have different ways of getting in touch. Yeah. I'm sure by now you figured out that Robin contacted me. Thanks to Facebook, she found me through a mutual friend.
Of course, now we're Facebook friends. I saw Robin's photos. There were a few of her standing next to a young man. Was that the little baby she wrote about?
All those missed years...All because of that unsent letter.
She emailed me. So I got another chance to write her back. I didn't begin my email this way, but I wanted to start it with.. "I really meant to write..." This time, I didn't hesitate. I wrote her back immediately.
Sometimes life (and Facebook) gives you a second chance.