I did not want to go on the trip because I was in an argument with my boyfriend (who I wanted to break up with) and felt I just couldn’t leave town without doing the right thing and ending things with him.
I watched her, my best friend, from my bedroom window climb into the passenger seat of her friends’ car. I waved and called out to her. She’d been extremely upset that I wasn’t going with them because, as she put it, “staying behind for a ridiculous reason.” She didn’t even look my way as I waved wondering if I had made a bad mistake.
The very next day two things happened:
1) I broke up with my boyfriend.
2) learned my best friend was killed in a car crash the night before.
I’ve heard many others talk about stories like this and having ‘survivors guilt.’ I never felt that way. My friends Mom did. She was extremely angry at me, my mom and family because her daughter was an only child. She thought God should have taken me because my mom had two children. Awful to hear. Awful to write. Unbearable pain happens to a person when they lose a child. I’ve only witnessed this suffering and pray daily it’s one I never have to experience. Flat out telling my kids, “If you die before me, I will kill you.”
I feel blessed and thankful that I didn’t go on that trip. The experience taught me that life is so short and in an instant what you thought was going to last forever, is over. I lost my friend that day so long ago…but the perspective it’s brought to me over the past 20 years has made me laugh more, live more and love more.
Why? Because it’s not forever.
Life is short.
If we all live as if we know we are going to do…one day…sooner than we think…we may just live differently.
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