It’s been too long since I’ve written those words. One year since I put them together with a spine and shared them. A lot can happen in a year.
I’ve finished another book, for one thing. I’ve almost completed a creative writing program through SFU, which enabled me to finish the first draft of my next book, the first in a fictional series about a paralegal working in Vancouver.
I miss you. But not like before. The shame I used to feel when I thought of you is gone. I’m not entirely sure what that means, other than I must be at peace with the way things have unfolded. As I contemplate whether having peace means acceptance of what happened, I feel a need to forgive you. My initial reaction to this is to think it’s silly, because what is there to forgive you for? Your disappearance was a tragic accident that was not in your control. But as I sit with it, forgiveness feels right in this moment.
I forgive you.
Ten years have passed since I saw you last, and we’re approaching ten years in September since you’ve been gone, and I have never once considered forgiving you. For leaving me behind. Alone.
I know that I was not alone. I am not. And I am not the only one that you left behind. But being selfish by nature, I’m really only talking about myself as far as you’re concerned right now.
I forgive you.
Happy Anniversary <3
Most importantly, I forgive myself. For the selfish actions I took after you disappeared, closing myself off from others that may have known best what I was going through. I forgive myself for taking so dang long to admit how much I miss you, what an impact you’ve left on my life, and how integral your role has been in the person that I am deep down inside. I think you knew that person, even when I didn’t see her. And I thank you for that, dear Rachael, I could never put a price on what your friendship means to me.
I highly doubt I will write another collection of letters to you, but if I’ve learned anything over the last year, it’s to never say never. If I had, I wouldn’t be a mom, a wife or a published author. I wouldn’t have tattoos, a nose ring or a certificate for creative writing within reach. This person I am, I have always been, is because of you.
So thank you.
Just thank you. For being my one special friend. Irreplaceable in my heart, the imprint of our friendship forever ingrained in who I am.
And I will love you, always,
The day we showed up to walk the seawall together and were accidentally wearing almost the same thing.