Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why Did I Do This?

She was my best friend, we knew each other well and had many inside secrets and I hurt her and while she may have forgiven me, I have yet to forgive myself.

To protect the identity of my friend and people in this story...all names have been changed!

Shelly came into my life in middle school. She was new to the area, having been fostered by a family at church, trying to help her because her life back at home with her real family was just terrible. We hit it off right away, she may have been a year younger than me, but I knew I could trust her. We always seemed to get in to trouble at youth group events. We always had to be in the same room. I trusted her with my life...

...but I hurt her. Towards the end of my jr. year of high school, her sophomore year she started dating Pete. With Pete came the realization that I was no longer as important or at least I felt that way. She spent most of her time with him, did everything with him, I felt completely pushed away, like she didn't need me anymore. I don't remember what I said or did exactly, but I know that I got angry enough to say something that I would later regret. Maybe it wasn't anger so much as it was jealousy, I wanted my friend back, the one that did everything with me, but she was too busy with Pete. Whatever the exact words, they hurt her, and thus ended this friendship.

The last bit of my jr. year was a very awkward time. We didn't talk, we didn't wouldn't look at each other at church or school. I had hurt her and had attempted to apologize, but she was hurt too badly. The summer between my jr. and sr. year we ended up both going with out church to church camp as counselors. We were pretty much forced to talk, but it was only about camp, we never hung out otherwise, we got along to get along and that was it. I was sad because I couldn't enjoy camp with my best friend and felt awkward. But this time sparked something in both of us.

Senior year and I was getting excited to graduate. Shelly and I still didn't talk much, but we at least acknowledged each other. We shared some of the same friends so we had to. We could talk, some, but it was never like it had was never us being bff's, sharing our inside jokes, laughing hysterically. We did out best to talk some, we would talk at church some too, she even attempted to encourage me when my parents got divorced that year. Somewhere inside both of us I believe that forgiveness had happened...or sparked at least. I got busy with applying to college and working so we rarely saw each other, but when we did, we talked, some. I graduated and on a whim invited her to my party, she came, with a gift and card (that today is in a picture frame). On that card she wrote, "love you." Those words mean everything to me, especially today. That summer once again, we were at church camp together. That is when things changed, we were able to joke again and laugh again and be close again, it was the best summer ever.

I went off to college but tried my best to keep contact with her. I did the best I could, but knew it would be hard. I went home for Labor Day and got to see her again. It was great, almost like old times. We were both busy, but got to hang out at church. I hugged her and headed back to school. She contacted me on my birthday, a few days later, it was a great surprise. School got busy and I didn't get the chance to reply back to her...Oct. 5 I went home for homecoming, tried to see Shelly, but didn't have the time. I got back to school on Oct. 6 2001. I had been back maybe an hour, when my "mama" figure Nancy called my room. She has been my children minister at church, I lived with her when my parents first split, and she had been working at the college I ended up going to for a couple of years. Anyway, she called my room telling me that we needed to talk. I said ok and that I would meet her in the lobby. I headed downstairs, somewhere inside me, I knew something was terribly wrong, terribly wrong. She sat me down and well, I think I died a little that day...

Shelly had been in a car accident, she died instantly, never felt any pain, she was in the arms of our Father. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I felt like something inside my died...I was sick to my stomach (even now as I type this, I feel sick). My best friend was gone and I never got the chance to tell her how much she meant to me and I had to live with what I had done to her that hurt her. I went home for the funeral and was able to get to her viewing early and got some along time with her. I walked in holding her foster sister's and foster mom's hands. There she lay, so beautiful, so perfect, so peaceful...I lost it. Her foster mom took me aside and told me that Shelly had forgiven me and that I needed to forgive myself. She told me, that we all make mistakes, say things we wish we hadn't and that Shelly knew that I had been hurt by her relationship with Pete and that she had forgiven me and talked about me often and missed me.

I am going to tell you right now - I don't know how to forgive myself. I want to, I do and I know Shelly would want me too, but I just can't. I feel like I let her down, I feel like I never got to tell her how much I loved her and felt terrible for what I did. I hurt so bad; so bad. I have her picture by my bed, I was even able to go over to her house a few days after her funeral and help her parents clean out her room. I kept a few things, they told me to take what I wanted, I kept her sweatshirt that she always wore - it smelled like her (still does). I also kept a couple of pictures.

If ever I miss her, I grab her sweatshirt and put it on. It's a little small on me, but I don't care. She feels close that way. I wrote her a letter and left it at her grave about a year later. In it was everything I had wanted to say, but never got the chance too. I am sad that Shelly wasn't there for my marriage and to meet Parker, but I know that she is in my heart. I am would like to one day forgive myself, but I know there is a long road a head. I love Shelly, I miss her and I hope that as she looks down on me, she knows and can feel that I miss her.

I love you "Shelly", so very much!

Now it's your turn, head over to Mama Kat's site and check out the prompts, then write your entry and leave a link on Mr. Linky!

The Prompts:

1.) Discuss an intense game of Pictionary that you spent most of Saturday night arguing with your family about, only to log in to your email account two days later to find 35 emails between said family regarding aformentioned game and rules.

2.) Tell about a time you hurt somebody that still bothers you to this day.

3.) The one that got away....spill it.

4.) What inspired you? Write about a time when you were impassioned to write.

5.) What happened in the last year? Write about something you can do now that you couldn't do a year ago.

6.) Write about the event that was the end of your childhood

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Wow, Denise, I'm so sorry. This is one of those regrets that we may never forget. I have a friend Jackie with a sort of similar story, and this is a good reminder to call all my friends that I've sort of drifted apart from!!! Thanks for writing this!