Away on holiday in the Midwest, I still am thinking about those silly yearbooks. I promise this is the last post on the topic (for a while, at least.)
Amid the promises and love professed in cheap ink between those covers, one good friend wrote, "You've helped me through some very tough times in my life. I love you."
It means a lot that I helped shepherd him through his emotional love affair and other issues, but here's the thing: that friend is now dead.
Could I have prevented his death?
We matriculated together, and maintained a casual friendship for years, but when his life's path veered away, I let it. In our twenties, I sort of dropped off the face of the earth. I knew thing were difficult, though I had no idea how difficult. I knew he was coping with pain in unhealthy ways, but I just kept moving. I should have slowed down. I should have showed up on his doorstep unannounced. I should have intervened.
Sure, I helped him though high school, but that's hardly enough. Perhaps he would be alive if I'd been a better "friend forever."
And that is a very heavy thought.
I blog rarely, because I'm writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: