Sometimes in our lives we meet individuals who don’t ever make it into our everyday world. They don’t know our friends or our family; they are not part of our circle.
They don’t know our back-story or what our deep secrets or dreams are. They come in contact with us at the cafe several times a year or happen to go to the bead store where we like to sit and make wire wrapped bracelets.
We hear parts of their story spin out as they talk on the phone or pick up enough tiny bits over the course of years that we could tell another person a story about them thick enough to fill a whole novel. They aren’t our friends in the same sense others are, but they don’t just fit into the measly slot of acquaintance.
Perhaps there is some spark between you, like the smile they shared across the room when they saw you struggling or the time they touted on and on about your success when they heard another person, a friend you shared, speak of your recent accomplishment. It was also, perhaps, their absence for a few weeks that you felt, the absence that made you wonder about their life beyond the walls of the grocery store or cafe or bead bar, the absence that made you contemplate asking the questions that might fill in the missing parts of their story. If you reached out to them, could you make a go at being part of one another’s circle of friends? Or was this occasional intersection of lives enough?
This afternoon, I discovered that such a person in my life is now gone. The story of who she is left incomplete. Behind the busy-ness of the day that I show to the world, I trace the infrequent connections that I made with her. I dance around her pains and what I know of her triumphs. I hold up a mirror to her unfinished hopes and tearlessly weep that she never had a chance to fully go there. And just when I start to touch the realm of sadness, I get very still, pull back to sit with the ways she blessed my life even without anchoring herself in it.
I will miss you, my friend. Your smile and your heart brought me joy. Peace be with you.