Eventually, the two of us couples started hanging out. Every so often we would meet for dinner, and Juliana even spent some time trying to teach me how to knit. We had a lot of fun together, even though we never could find enough time to hang out as much as we would have liked. And that was before kids, so you can imagine what happened after Danny was born.
Then, we moved from Chicago to the town we live in, and I gradually lost touch with Juliana. The thing is, even after they moved to Scotland to be closer to her family in Germany, she tried to keep in touch, but I was so overwhelmed with motherhood and daily life, I never made the time to email her. I have been thinking about her and wanting to get back in touch for months now. I even have their change of address sitting on my desk waiting for me to get off my duff and do something about it.
Now it is too late and I will never again have the opportunity to talk to her. At least not in this lifetime.
I feel so bad for Richard and their one-year-old son. I cannot imagine losing a spouse at such a young age. I wish I could do something for them. But, most of all, I am consumed with a tremendous regret at my own inaction. I am so sorry that I let a friendship die out of laziness on my side. I just kept thinking that I had all the time in the world to reconnect. And I guess I am angry with myself that I didn't prioritize better. It would have taken just a couple of minutes to write a letter or email. I'm sure there were thousands of moments over the last few years which I squandered and could have put to better use.
I know there isn't much I can do now. Juliana is gone and I hope she understands that I am truly sorry for losing touch. I liked and admired her so much; I just didn't make the time to keep our friendship going.
I want to remember this, though. I want to start living my life differently, start focusing on the things that are most important to me: my relationships. In a church meeting last week, a leader said that we are the most at peace when our daily actions reflect our governing beliefs and values. I don't think mine do. Unless my governing values have much to do with laundry and cooking and cleaning. I know some of those things are important, but I want to make sure I really pay attention to the people I love and give them my time and focus. Because I do not want to feel this kind of regret again when I lose someone I care about.
I wonder if you have any suggestions on how you prioritize your relationships. What do you do to make sure you are focusing on important things rather than letting trivial things monopolize your time? I could use the suggestions.