My best friend and I met in 1975 and immediately clicked, not just because we were in the same class, but we were also both only children, bookworms, and sported a long cascade of hair (blonde for her, brunette for me). As we went through our school years, we were inseparable, and got into a fair amount of trouble together, mostly due to her propensity for bending the curfew rules her parents and my mother tried so desperately to enforce.
Two decades later, Diane married and had two children, and I was occasionally asked to babysit the kids. We remained close and though we lived in different counties, we made an effort to visit each other as much as possible. Then in 1997, she and her family relocated to northern Washington state, and I went off to medical school. The geographic shift reduced our visits to once a year, when Diane would come to Southern California to visit her parents and spend some time with me. I was able to make it up to Washington in 2010, when I competed in the NPC Emerald Cup Bodybuilding event. It was so important for me to see my best friend that I spent several extra days up there.
The last time Diane came down to visit was in 2011, right before both of her parents fell ill. Since that time, her father passed away, and both of our mothers became ill and were placed in care homes. Diane’s daughter moved into her own place. I became completely immersed in the world of competing, and spent so much time traveling to other parts of the country that my time and financial resources prevented me from traveling to Washington.
Over the past several years, Diane and I have catch-up conversations about once every 8 to 10 months. Our most recent conversation was scheduled via email, then rescheduled twice due to the fact that we both now contend with having far too much to do and insufficient time in which to get it all done. We had a wonderful chat two weeks ago which lasted for over an hour, which is a big deal for me because I ordinarily can’t stand being on the phone for more than a few minutes. Yet with Diane, I find that we need a good chunk of time on the phone to dig into all the topics we tend to discuss.
Sadly, we will have to schedule another call through email exchanges. We agreed to mark our calendars to contact each other regarding scheduling the call for sometime in May. I still remember when I would just pick up the phone (rotary dial land line) and call my best friend and classmate to chat. Times have certainly changed!