I sigh as I sit down to type this letter. Do you know why? Because I’ve neglected you. I’ve outright neglected you. It’s not okay. It’s simply not okay.
Back in the day, we were best friends. You’re so humble, kind and gracious to have still called me best friend this past year. But I’m afraid I haven’t acted like a best friend. AT. ALL.
Back in the day, we were active friends. We lived together. We did lots of stuff together. We shared our deepest, darkest secrets with one another at the dinner table. Long walks and late night conversations bonded us forever. Not to mention all the crazy fun we had together. Honestly, I’ve never had so much fun as I did with you.
You made me free.
You made me laugh.
You made me feel special.
You noticed all the little things.
And you always had the capacity to go deep.
Back in the day, we spent a lot of time together. In fact, I’ve spent more time with you than 90% of friends I’ve had in nearly 40 years. Time. It’s worth something. It means something. It meant something to me. Time means we went deep. Time means we were true. Time means you saw me, and I saw you. Flaws, beauty and all.
Back in the day, I’m sure we would’ve never imagined that you’d move there and I’d be here. SO far. Yet so close.
What does this mean for us?
It means I haven’t seen you in something like seven years. Maybe more?
I’m sighing again, friend.
That’s too long.
Distance made me immune. Distance caused me to believe we’ll never recapture the essence of the friendship we once had. Distance made me believe it’s okay to NOT respond in a timely fashion. Distance made me forget your awesome, beautiful, gracious humanity. Distance told me “Hey, no worries. It’s not like we can go out on Saturday night, anyway.” Distance made me inconsistent and terribly unpredictable as a friend.
I’m not nearly as awesome at friendship as I once was.
And I’ve proven myself to be a horrible long-distance friend.
I’ve neglected to return phone calls. Worse yet, my best excuses were “so busy,” “too busy,” and “too crazy around here.”
I’ve neglected to return emails in a timely fashion. You’re AMAZING at email, and I’m hit and miss when it comes to responding to personal email of any length, width or depth. It irks me beyond belief that you sent an email wishing me Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary last July 4th, and I found it in my inbox a couple weeks ago, realizing I likely never even responded.
I neglected to acknowledge your 40th birthday with a call or card.
And yeah, back to email. It seems like every time I throw you a tough one, you respond immediately, with depth, sincerity and love. And I don’t respond for another month or two, three or four. What’s up with me and this long-distance friendship thing? Clearly, I did MUCH, MUCH better when you were in my daily physical space.
I’m running myself into a rut, and I know this isn’t what you would want for me. You always want the best. You always love, even when it’s not justified. You always send the sincerest, even when I’ve been more selfish than I care to admit. You’re always honest. Always kind. Always true. Always loyal. Always FULL of grace. Forgiving. Thoughtful. And humble.
Sighing again, friend. This is weighing on my heart.
I don’t know what to do.
Honestly, I hate talking on the phone. I just need to get better at email. And somehow…we need to see each other again and maybe more often.
Seven plus years is too long.
We need a night or two together.
Girl’s night. Just you and me.
Then maybe another girl’s night with some of our old friends.
Then an afternoon hanging with our kids at the park. They play. We chat. We eat picnic lunch. However long it takes.
Catching up. In real life. In real time.
Yeah, that would be good.
That would be awesome.
I’m sorry, friend.
Please accept my apologies.
I know I’ve already addressed this up and down, and I know you’re filled to the brim with GRACE, GRACE and MORE GRACE, but I’m wholly convicted. I’ve not been good at this long-distance friend thing.
I don’t have a great solution, but one thing’s for sure…you’re worth more than I’ve given.
This, I need you to know.
You’re still in my heart. You’re still there. Nothing’s changed deep down.
Above all, I pray you find a true heart hidden in this letter.
A heart still loyal.
A heart that still calls you friend.
A heart that remembers the best days, treasures the bond, and expects hope and a future. For us. As friends. For now…LONG, LONG-distance best friends.
This is part of a month-long series on friendship titled Love Letters to Friends. To read the rest of the posts in the series, CLICK HERE and you’ll be directed to the series introductory post. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll find all the posts listed and linked for your reading pleasure.