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January 27, 2015

Why Didn’t I tell Her?

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She was at the bottom of the stairs in our New England home standing next to her father, holding his hand.

It must have been around 1971.

She was quiet and shy and so was I, but we took to each other almost instantaneously—we were two tentative young girls in the discovery of friendship. We were kindred spirits with what seemed like a billion years of life and play and an ocean of endless summers ahead of us.

I want to embrace those girls and hold them forever in their incredible joy and laughter. I so dearly love them.

Something special often connects my soul to that time. Perhaps it’s the immediate and profound connection to another human being?

These days I must go deep into my memory to find her.

I can still see her intensely fragile frame, her dark skinny legs running for control of a “kick ball.”

I can hear the oddly eclectic, much anticipated music of an ice cream truck pulling into it’s usual spot. The distorted music pierced the stagnant, thick, blazing summer air and called us to attention. The Ice cream tasted d*mn near perfect back then. It was sharper, sweeter and just brilliant.

We sat forever together, talking about seducing the “cutest” boy in school and how he would surely fall endlessly and hopelessly in love.

We talked for hours about nothing and everything. When we finished and went home, we would phone each other almost immediately and talk some more.

We were inseparable.

Later, much later, I would look back and try to figure out why our trail went cold. Was there a fight? Was it about a boy? Was it about a girl? Why? Why did we so completely leave each other?

As an adult, I understand these kinds of connections and separations are a part of life. They are a part of a tremendous journey through a labyrinth of human interaction. Each of these interactions are essential, relevant and fragile. They are in constant, imminent danger of forever being lost to life’s changes or superficial wounds and neglect.

It’s the space and vast silence between beautiful connections and unacknowledged disconnects that saddens me.

The strange reality of finding myself propelled forward In time, not exactly sure how or when time elapsed. That tremendous space allows no clues as to how I missed the opportunity to acknowledge a person who gifted me so many meaningful encounters.

Why the Hell Didn’t I tell Her?

I missed the opportunity
Don’t miss it
Let people fully touch your life
Let yourself be taught
Let yourself build and bleed
Allow yourself to understand the fluidity and urgency of each moment
Allow yourself to tell people what they mean to you
Tell them
Tell them now
I want to tell her that she touched my life with intense color
She mattered
She was important
She lived in my spirit no matter how far behind we left each other
It’s too late to tell her—
How she filled my adolescent days with purpose
How her silly expressions alerted me to self evaluate
How the time she spent with me was a discovery of friendship
How her friendship was a discovery of human connection and trust
I can’t tell her that I still carry her spirit
I’m sad she is gone
I’m sad that it’s impossible for her to know these things
I’m sad
I want to tell her
I should have told her

 

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Author: Jeana Sager

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: imspeaking

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