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.

13 comments:

Robin L said...

Oh wow, how much do I love this post!

Although I am not the Robin mentioned in your post, :-) this exact thing happened to me, only when I tried to look the person up on FB, I found they didn't have an account, so I had to dig around a little harder. We finally connected and boy, am I glad we did.

Such a great reminder! Thank you.

nanmarino said...

Robin, good for you for tracking the person down. There are a few people I'm still looking for on FB. I guess eventually, I'll need to try other methods. It's great to reconnect with people.

anna said...

I love this. Maybe almost everyone has some unfinished business of some kind and its such a blessing to have the chance to put things right. I also love that your friend obviously knew you well enough to understand and to make contact with you again after all those years. You've actually inspired me to look some people up myself - thanks :)

nanmarino said...

Anna, It feels great to have a second chance. I hope you find your people.

Hilary said...

I love this post... FaceBook is amazing. My dad and his brother had a huge fight a long, long time ago which prevented me and my cousins from seeing each other or speaking. Then, 23+years later, thanks to FaceBook we reconnected. I hope you and Robin get all caught up....

nanmarino said...

Hilary, you hear so many stories like yours and mine. It seems to be an easy way to stay in touch. Glad you found your cousins.

Medeia Sharif said...

What a great story.

I've lost touch with some people by accident, because I was busy, I didn't ask for a number, I didn't expect to part so soon....

I've found some of these people on FB. I hope to find more.

nanmarino said...

Thanks Medeia,
Hope you find who you're looking for.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

WOW! What a great story! THanks for sharing this with us. I've rediscovered some great friends on facebook to!

Andrea Vlahakis said...

I love this story, Nan. FB or no FB, you were meant to find each other again. That happened to me at a book signing--someone I knew from a long time ago recognized my name in the paper advertising the signing, and showed up. Amazing things happen...

nanmarino said...

TerryLynn, I've heard so many Facebook reunion stories. Until now, I had no idea of Facebook's powers. :)
Andrea, that's a great story. And yes, amazing things do happen. :)

cleemckenzie said...

That's pretty amazing, Nan. I love second chances. I have a similar story that involves libraries. Remind me to share that sometime.

nanmarino said...

Lee, Looking forward to hearing your story, especially since it involves libraries. :)