like a wad of gum stuck to the bottom of some one's shoe. There is just too much in my head right now. WARNING: Depressing, whining, miserable crap to follow, so please feel free to quit reading now. I hate moping.
My friend Nicole has weighed heavily on my mind lately. I wrote about her briefly last week (or the week before?) and have been miserable over the situation between us since (and before that really). She's been my closest friend for the better part of 15 years now, and in the last year and a half or so, we haven't talked at all. She was dealing with some tough things, and I was dealing with some tough things, and instead of bringing us closer, that some how made us drift away. I logged in to an old email account last night thinking of her, and whatya know, there was an email from her sent the day before. At least when I'm depressed about our drifting apart and thinking about how she's doing, the feeling is mutual. So I sat down to write an email back to her, and i stared at the screen for an hour. There was so much I wanted to say, and so much I wanted to share with her, and honestly, there was so much I wanted to unload. She and I have always been each others sounding boards. When I'm upset, she's the one who will just listen. When she's upset, I'm the one who will just listen. When she found herself stranded in Germany dealing with a personal crisis of epic proportions, she called me every day and had to have spent huge amounts of money, just so I could listen. It's not fair for me to unload on her right now though. It's been too long. I sat there for an hour wanting to tell her about a house fire. I don't know why the urge was so strong, except that it's weighed so heavily on my mind lately. I kept on typing it out, and then deleting it, and then doing it again. I ended up sending her a quick note about how great it was to hear from her, and telling her how much I love and miss her, but I need to talk about the fire somewhere, so here that is too:
Last May a friend from work had a house fire. She and her husband and their 2 youngest children (one a few months old with lung problems and the other 3 at the time) made it out by jumping off the roof of the burning house. Their oldest 2 daughters were sleeping downstairs and didnt make it out. I will never forget the phone call I received that morning telling me her house burned down and the girls didn't make it. I sat there in shock and disbelief, thinking it couldn't possibly be real or true. Things like that just don't happen to real people! She and I weren't that close, but how could I not want to do anything and everything I could to be there for her in a time like that? I offered myself up to do anything I could to help in any way. I was in complete shock. I spent all that night (like 10 hours) bawling as I peeled apart wet and smoke damaged pictures of the 2 girls that her brother had salvaged from the still-smoking house, because they were all she had left of her 2 beautiful children. She and her husband were in the next room wailing in grief. There were boxes and boxes of pictures, laid out all over the floor on sheets to dry. Seeing those faces, smelling the smoke and the chemicals, hearing her pain that soon after they were gone was really raw and painful. I will never look at the world the same again. Every moment of every day means something. On a daily basis I find myself seeing and doing things, and then realizing those girls, whose lives were cut short, won't get to see and do those things, and it's just not fair! I hug my kids tighter now, I keep them closer, and I let them be young and free, let them do things and have experiences that I would have said no to before without a thought. Life is for living! I want desperately to tell Nicole all of this for some reason, but I don't feel right about burdening her with it after such a gap in our friendship, so here I am.
On top of everything else, there's been another tragic loss in the hiking community. I didn't know Edd, but i knew of him, and I regularly read his trip reports and admired his amazing photography. He was a man that truly had a passion for the outdoors. I normally browse NWhikers.net daily for my daily hit of hiking crack (yes, I'm an addict. I admit it fully. I cant function without dirt and trees and rocks), but this week, instead of going there and feeling good and getting excited about all the adventures out there waiting for me, I just cry. I can't enjoy reading what people there have to say right now. All I can do is let the ball of tension in my stomach continue to grow. I NEED to make the most of every day, because you never know what might happen.