A few weeks ago, on the night before my birthday, I wrote my good friend, Joe, an email. I've known Joe since 3rd grade, longer than I've known almost all of my friends. Joe and I were really close in high school and the first few years of college, but then he moved to Gainesville to be a serious scientist. Between school, work, and distance, we don't get to see each other as often as we did years ago. Still, when we do it's like no time has passed.
I wrote Joe this email the night before my birthday because I realized that I had not done what I had promised myself I would do: call him on his birthday. Joe's birthday is exactly a week before mine and even with our busy schedules and intermittent visits, Joe
calls to wish me a happy birthday. You know how often I've had the forethought to call him on his birthday? It's probably less than half the fingers on one hand. Sad.
So the last time I saw Joe I said, "I am calling you on your birthday this year." I made this big deal about it, even when he tells me, "Nyssa, it's no big deal." It was to me, I thought.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself the night before my birthday realizing that no phone call from me to Joe occurred within the week prior. Though I didn't keep my word I figured I'd do the next best thing and write him an email sharing how much our friendship means to me. I may not be able to remember to call at the right time, but I can express how I feel, and I thought that Joe would appreciate that more than a birthday wish.
And he did.
So today I found out from another really good friend of mine, who's also Joe's long-term girlfriend, that Joe was in a biking accident recently. Her email said that it wasn't too serious but that he did have to get surgery and metal plates in his face. Though I was shocked by this news, I was calmed by the word that it wasn't too serious.
I couldn't help but think of that email I sent him a few weeks ago and how I was so glad that I wrote it when I did. It was my reminder that things can get real serious, real fast, and birthdays or not, I better tell my friends I love them and that I'm glad they are still here.
Life may not give me any guarantees but that doesn't mean that I can't give it gratitude. I am thankful to be here at all. And I am thankful Joe is still here too.