Christina and I have been best friends for 23 years. She lived in the house across the street when we moved to NJ. Her stepmom and my mom vaguely knew each other from years ago, and we were around the same age, so they thought we would make good friends. I remember the first time we met: my mom sent me over there and Chris and I just sat on her front steps looking at each other and giggling. We didn’t say a single word, but we were pretty much inseparable after that.
We hung out just about everyday after school, playing video games or making up crazy games or jumping rope or whatever. It didn’t matter what we were doing, we always had a great time and a lot of laughs. On the weekends, we would have sleepovers and try to stay up as late as possible without getting caught – we were rarely successful and almost always got shushed and told to go to sleep.
She is a year older than me, and towards the end of her 8th grade year, her family moved away – just 30 minutes south, but it was a huge adjustment. Now instead of seeing each other everyday, we had to talk on the phone. We spent HOURS on the phone, usually on three-way with someone, gossiping and laughing about whatever happened that day. We still had sleepovers on the weekends, and the good part was that they usually lasted from Friday to Sunday now that it was a bit of a drive for our parents to drop us off.
During the summers, she would come camping with us and we would go for hikes, swim in the pond, and sit around the fire at night making s’mores. There was a little country store right outside of the campground that sold penny candy, and we would walk down there with a dollar and come back with bags of candy. She spent part of the summers in the Poconos with her mom, and I would spend a week or two up there with her and her other best friend, Christy. The three of us would drive around aimlessly blasting music, or we would spend the day at the clubhouse eating cheese fries and playing in the pool. I remember helping Christy’s family move into their new house, and I remember showing her cousin from Puerto Rico around.
Christina and I never went to the same school until we got to college. We were able to finally take a class together: Ethics. It was so awesome being in class together and seeing each other on a regular basis again. We continued to have our sleepovers, although they were less frequent since we were both busy with school and work and boyfriends.
Tomorrow night is our very last sleepover. It’s hard to believe because this is not how I imagined life to be. We were supposed to grow up and be in each other’s weddings and be Godmother to each other’s kids. Our kids were going to become best friends and our families would spend holidays and birthdays and vacations together. We were supposed to be best friends forever. I have to say goodbye to her this weekend and I don’t know if I can do it. How do you say goodbye to the girl who’s been your sister for all this time?
I’m so angry about the whole thing because she doesn’t deserve to suffer the way she has been for the past 6 years. It’s bad enough she’s had to deal with being paralyzed, but why has she had to deal with all the illnesses and extra stuff? I don’t understand it at all. She is one of the best people I know, and doesn’t deserve any of it. I would take her place in a second to allow her the opportunity to live out her dreams, but I guess it’s not meant to be.
As much as I don’t want her to suffer, I don’t want to lose her either. It’s not fair. Call me selfish, but I want her around for everything that is yet to come. I already have to deal with the fact that my mom won’t be here for anything, and now my best friend won’t either. Everything has felt kind of empty since I lost my mom, like things aren’t nearly as exciting or special because she doesn’t know about them or experience them with me, and now it feels like that is just going to be intensified. Part of me has already mourned Christina because everything changed after her accident – we took on a new kind of friendship completely different than anything before that. But now she’ll just be GONE and I don’t know how to accept that.
I can’t believe it’s really happening. I can’t believe I’m right back to where I was last year, sitting around waiting for a phone call. Waiting to say goodbye. I’m actually really scared about how I’m going to handle it when she finally passes because as it is I feel like I’m only seconds away from a nervous breakdown. I know I have a good support system and I’ll get through this with their help, but it’s going to be so so hard. It feels like life has changed permanently since my mom passed and it just keeps getting worse. I worry if this is it – this is what life is going to be like from now on. I’ve been so blessed, but lately it feels like nothing is going right and it’s all just going to continue going downhill.