You know that person you met when you were 5 and instantly bonded with? You know that person who shared the moments of your childhood with you, from birthdays to pony rides to field trips and sleep overs and graduations and crazy vacations, and life?
Colleen is one of those people for me. She was there from near the beginning and we shared life together, until we were about 18. She went into the Navy and I went in the other direction. Life took us different places. We kept in contact here and there. I knew she was married. I knew she was a lawyer. I knew she was sick. I had sent a few emails. I knew she was a talented cyclist. I knew she got her dream of sitting down for an afternoon with Lance Armstrong. I watched her life from a distance. A distance that is far greater today. Colleen lost her 5 year battle with breast cancer yesterday. She was 31 years old.
As the tears roll down my cheek I am struck with regret. Wishing I had made better efforts to support my life long friend. Regrets that I didn't pick up the phone more often. So Colleen, I am sorry. I'm sorry for all of it.
But really, isn't that how life is? We grow and move and change and not everyone in our lives grows and moves and changes right along side us and sometimes people fall out of touch. Sometimes people mean just as much to you, even past time and space. Sometimes you love people for who they are from a distance and that is enough. Or, I thought it was.