Ace of Base came on the radio and immediately I thought of my friend, Shawn. One of my most treasured middle school possessions was a mix tape that Shawn made for me and it was loaded with Ace of Base and other groups that were special to us. As I sang along with Ace of Base this evening, I recalled so many wonderful memories from middle and high school that involved my special friend.
In case you don’t remember, the middle school years were hard. Hormones, drama, more hormones, and more drama. And really, high school wasn’t much better. There were a lot of times when life was difficult, especially as my friends all started dating and taking interest in other things; but one of the constants through all of those years was my friendship with Shawn.
We had times when we talked about deep things and we had times when we were just silly and goofy teenagers. But the thing that I remember the most was that he was there. He was my friend when I really needed a friend and that is something I will never forget.
It’s been six years since Shawn lost his battle with cancer. He was only 32 years old when he was taken from us. Sometime after high school, Shawn and I drifted apart. When I found out he was sick, my mom and I went to see him. We reconnected, reminisced, and picked right back up where we left off. He was sharing about his dream of furthering his education, beating cancer, and becoming a motivational speaker. He seemed so strong and confident and he was the same Shawn I always remembered. Two weeks later he was moved to hospice where he eventually breathed his last. If we had waited to visit him, I would have missed the sweet blessing of being with my friend. Even now, with tears, I think of how special that visit was and how glad I am that we followed through and went to the hospital, even though it was uncomfortable.
As you read these words, maybe you are thinking about a special friend that you need to reconnect with. Or maybe there is a new friend that you want to get to know a little better and you have been hesitant to make the first move. Whoever the face is that you are seeing in your mind right now, stop what you are doing and act on it. Call, text, email, message, or visit that person. Even if it’s hard. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if you can find a hundred reasons not to; you need to do it. Life is too short to miss out on reconnecting with the ones we love. No regrets.