Memories come flying back every time my husband and I travel home to Nebraska. We live in Pierre, South Dakota, and life is good. We get into our daily routines, work on projects, visit with our friends, and occasionally we’ll call back home to check up on the family. When the time comes to make the trip to south central Nebraska we hop in the car and head south through White River, Valentine, North Platte, and then head east for the final stretch of the trip home. It is not a bad trip home, it’s only 6 hours tops, but it’s North Platte that gets me. North Platte is where I went to college for my first 2 years of college and it holds an uncountable number of memories in my mind.
College is a place for exploration and transition. The first day you walk into your dorm room, your life will change forever the moment you introduce yourself to your first roommate. You form bonds and make friendships that you will never forget during those four years. I made a friendship so strong that I couldn’t imagine a day without it. She was one of those friends that you should never take for granted. I had found a bestie that I could share my secrets with, make stupid decisions with, talk boys with, do absolutely nothing with, and create the fondest memories in the process. It’s easy for my mind to venture to those years and smile because it was such an amazing time in my life, and yet I am sad because those years are gone and my bestie that was in 99% of those memories is gone too—we didn’t end up standing the test of time.
This weekend my husband and I are back again and this time my heart is a bit heavier than usual. A dainty, yet equally as elegant, wedding invitation on my parents counter caught my eye—“a request of their company at the celebration of their union.” It was an invitation to my best friend from those college years and she is getting married next weekend! I received the same invite, but it looked so much different standing in Nebraska than it does in South Dakota. (It was the drive through North Platte. Curse North Platte for sparking my memories and pulling on my heart strings.)
I am so very happy for her, but the thing is we aren’t best friends anymore. I can’t remember the last time we spoke (I do keep tabs on her on Facebook just to make sure she is okay). The void I have from our friendship may never be filled again. It was such a unique, special and strong friendship that grew in such a short amount of time.
It’s the wedding thing that really got me. Wedding anything is iconic in the friendship department. It’s impossible for me to tell you how many times we talked about our future weddings before we even were engaged…or had a boyfriend. In all the fantasies, she was standing beside me and I beside her—it’s funny how life changes, or maybe more accurately, how life happens. You grow apart. You move away. You stop calling or texting. Maybe it was a silly argument that got out of hand. For us, it was nothing. Communication just stopped and life continued on.
Most days it is okay because we aren’t in each other’s day to day lives. It is usually just the trips home to Nebraska that spark my memories of a fantastic gal I used to know. You might remember a past post from me where I talk about friends who leave imprints whether for a reason, a season, or for a lifetime. She was my friend for a reason. I have learned so much from her and will always remember the happy moments of our friendship while shaking off the sadness behind it all.
Next weekend is her wedding and I won’t be there like a good friend should, so instead I will write her a handwritten letter and it goes like this:
The day has finally arrived that you have been dreaming of for way too long! It seemed that this day would never come as there was no way a man could handle a girl like you…and her best friend! (Bestie approval was a must back then, right?!) I am glad you’ve found him and he should feel so lucky. Man, am I thankful that you didn’t settle for any of the others that were chasing before this man came along.
I have a few things I to tell you—I am sorry if I wasn’t as supportive as you deserved or if I wasn’t there when you needed me. I am sorry if I didn’t understand the importance of spending time with your special someone. Life moves fast and before you know what you are leaving behind, it is gone.
I wish you and your love success. Marriage is a wonderful thing! I hope your wedding day is everything you have dreamed it would be. I know you are going to look stunning and that your Just Dance video game moves are going shine on the dance floor. (We all know how awesome my moves are so it’s probably a good thing I won’t be there! POW POW!)
In all reality, I am sad I am not there for this monumental moment in your life. I am beyond happy that you’ve found that special someone who loves you, who appreciates you, and who treats you right. Although our futures are faced in opposite directions, I still think of you often. I wish you the best and know that I will always be a text away if you ever need a friend to call on today, tomorrow, or 20 years from now.