For the whole month of February, I will be posting a letter of gratitude to the people who have contributed immensely to the woman I am today. Some letters I’m thinking of sending to those I’ve written about and some I hope are never read. This will be the first time I post daily. So I am really keen on seeing how it will turn out, both for me and for those who follow this blog. I look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. The theme for all the letters is that ‘We Are Stories’ and I will be telling mine in #29LettersOfGratitude for a whole month. If you would like to join me (PLEASE DO!!!) remember to link me in your posts.
Yesterday I was at a wedding. I saw someone I didn’t anticipate seeing there. Well it’s not unthinkable for her to be at the same event as me, considering the couple getting married are mutual friends. Just that her existence had totally slipped my mind because I hadn’t seen or even thought about her in such a long while. She was with a group of women I knew, so I went by to say hi. She raised her face to meet my gaze and with a rather sincere politeness I watched her respond ‘Hello Sinawo’ then her eyes and tacky Wayne shades were quickly glued back on her smart phone.
Later we were both given the same task of ushering the guests into the reception area, so interaction between us was inevitable…
‘Do you know if those seats are taken?’
‘Have those serving dishes been washed?’
‘Yes, you can bring bring the family of the groom on my side.’
We were around a lot of people that have known us all our lives but I bet not a single one of them would’ve guessed that I don’t even have her number saved on my phone anymore. Just for our friend’s special day; a history of beautiful memories that’s had a very ugly ending seemed to be replaced with civil utterances while maintaining very awkward eye contact.
I used to be the first person she saw when she was in town and then we would walk the long distance between our two homes together while I carried her travel bag; catching up and laughing endlessly like the great companions we were. We’ve known each other since we were kids in Sunday school, I still have screen-shots of most our chats on Mxit, and I was the only friend that attended her father’s funeral … But yesterday we were total strangers.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that to love comes with the risk of losing, it is building, investing in a future that isn’t promised. You never realize what’s waiting for you on the other side of a misunderstanding or a fight, until you witness all your efforts tumbling down before your eyes. As I watched her dance and sing too loudly next to me, I wondered if it was all to prove how much better life has become without me…
I still have all our pictures together, maybe this is because I am a hopeless memory hoarder. But I believe deleting the screen-shots will not undo how spiritually mature she’s always been even from a young age, always challenging me to seek God more; it doesn’t undo the lessons she taught me in all our walks, and all our most treasured moments. We had a special friendship that is rare to come by but now it is over, and somehow I am still grateful for having walked with her for all those years. I choose to carry her light with me and I refuse to only remember the ugly.
For all the women whose stories in my life that keep having abrupt and unwelcome endings, I hope to mention your names more in my prayers than I do hastily in conversations with other humans. And even though I no longer miss you, I will always be grateful to have walked with you ❤
Cover Photo By: Lutendo Malatji
Have you ever lost a friend ? How is it when you see each other?