One of my bridesmaids died a couple of weeks ago. I met Denise at K-State. She was also a home economics and mass communications major, so we had lots of classes together. She was a farmer's daughter, just like me. She loved to write, just like me.
Thirty years ago, we were obviously good friends, since I asked her to be in my wedding.
But, through the years, we lost touch. And I regret it.
She moved to Germany for awhile and the Christmas card I mailed her came back as undeliverable.
She moved back to the States after a divorce. Then she got multiple sclerosis about the same time I was having children.
And in my busyness, I lost track of her. Her parents didn't move. I could have found the address if only I'd pursued it.
I went to her funeral. And as I sat in the sanctuary, I vowed I'd do better. I'd be a better friend.
In this Facebook world, it's easy to click the "Like" button on a friend's status and think you're making a connection. It's easier to zip off an email than actually call and talk to someone. And I have parents in Sunday School class tell me that the younger generation may very well be texting the person they are sitting next to - literally.
But this isn't about the younger, techo-savvy generation. This is about me.
I must do better. Life is too short. I've had way too many reminders of that recently. Little Elise was back in the PICU at Kansas City's Children's Mercy Hospital for a couple of weeks with problems breathing (though she was able to go home a couple of days ago. Praise the Lord!). But another family we know is just starting the cancer fight with their 7-year-old boy at Children's Mercy.
It's not fair. And it doesn't make sense. And I don't like it. And I can't see how anything good can possibly come from all the pain.
But I still have to trust. And I still have to do better.
As Elise's mom, Kelly, says:
"Even though we knew it before, a lesson we have learned from this journey is that time is precious and finite. LOVE YOUR FAMILY! Take the time now, today, to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you!
It's true for family. And it's true for friends. I am your cautionary tale today. Don't wait until it's too late to reconnect.