The End Wasn’t Supposed to be This Soon

Two men and a dog looking at a sunset

Recolored, cropped image. Peter Rowley, Flickr. CC License.

Everyone has that one friend that no matter how much time is in between visits, you pick up right where you left off. These friendships should be cherished because you never know how long that friend will be in your life.

In the last few years, just like most everyone, I reconnected with old friends via social media, including one of my best friends, Rick. We drifted apart when he moved away to live with his Dad. We tried to stay in touch, but even though the distance wasn’t too far, we lost touch. Until one day I got the “friend request” from one of my dearest friends (that sentence is both awesome and sad at the same time).

We picked up right where we left off —talking sports, catching up on daily events, and learning what’s been “up” since we last talked. I should’ve sent Mark Zuckerberg a thank you card for reconnecting us. We kept meaning to get together, but life kept getting in the way. Next week or next month always seemed doable.

It never happened. An accident happened.

Facebook brought us back together, and it also ripped us apart. A mutual friend of ours private messaged me to let me know Rick was in a horrible accident and didn’t make it. He died on a typical Saturday shopping trip with his wife.

Poof. Gone.

On a completely selfish level, there would be no introducing our children or our wives to each other. No inane chatter about how the Tigers are just one pitcher away from winning it all. No reminiscing about our glory days on the little league diamond (we both joked that we peaked too early).

I kick myself every day that we let life get in the way and never reconnected. My daughters missed out on meeting a good man, because I put the importance of my time in the wrong place.

Learn from my mistake; reach out to that long-lost friend, your life will be better for it.

I miss my friend every day, but I’ve taken this loss as a learning experience. Everyone is busy, but take that few minutes to call because you never know when they won’t be there to answer. Reschedule what you have to make time to meet up because one day a senseless mishap might leave you with old memories and no chance to make new ones.

Friends to the end, my friend. RIP, good sir.

– Jim Pesta, Parenting Program participant and father of two girls

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