It’s funny how much time can change.
It’s changed you.
It’s changed me.
These changes have in turn changed the thing we have called our friendship.
Where it used to mean late-night phone calls and laughing together and crying together and jokes that never got old, it’s turned into liking Facebook photos to feel like we’re still an integral part of each other’s lives. It’s become infrequent text messages I’ve sent to you holding words like “I miss you! We need to get together soon! Love ya bunches!” When what I really want to say sounds more like something like this: “I don’t like this distance in between us. It scares me. And when we sat on your bed listening to music and talking longingly of growing up I did not bargain for what it would actually look like. I never really pictured that you and I would go our separate ways. That we would move hundreds of miles apart. That there would ever be a time when you wouldn’t be here to talk to me about silly things like boys and finding dresses that fit or the more important things like heartbreak and God and finding ourselves in this life. I never thought that the day would come when we would meet up every four or five months for a hasty catch-up session and then drive away into our busy lives. And when I say I miss you, I mean I miss us. I miss you and I sharing space together. And our smarphones are not smart enough to fix this. And a face-to-face on Skype is not face-to-face hand-in-hand real life meeting between friends. And I love you. I mean it sincerely. I love every bit of you. I love your baking hands and your cheerful smile. I love your crazy fashion sense and your musical soul. I love your ratings and your hugs that feel like home. I love your nail-painting skills and your contaigious laughter. I love all you, each of you, every bit of you, and I wish I’d let you know it more when I could speak these words into a space that we were sharing.”
But it feels silly to say things like that. It feels hard to say things like that. And people older than us just laugh hollowly and explain with a jaded smile on their face, “Yes, that’s how life is. You grow apart.”
And I know it. I know that’s how life works. We move on, we grow older, we drift apart.
I know it. But I still want to say to you that I didn’t plan it this way. And I’m sorry that today over salads, a month ago over a picnic, three months ago at the mall I didn’t take you by the hands and tell you these things I have written here in the place where I seem to tell hard truths better than I can ever say them out loud. I’m sorry that I didn’t look you in the eyes and say these things to let you know just how strange my life feels without you. That I’m thankful for the amazing, scary, disgusting and beautiful things you taught me. And that though we don’t see each other every day, we don’t talk to each other the same way, and though the time has changed us, I am so glad I got to have you for a while.
-Jessi Sanders 2012