There are some people in this world who are so amazing in the simplest ways. They always have a smile for everyone and every memory you have of that person makes you smile. There isn't a single person you encouter that can say a bad thing about them because they truly treated everyone with respect. That was Amanda.
Amanda and I met in Junior high where we were in the same Montessori program. She had an older brother who was in High school at the same school the junior high was attached to. So she already knew all the cooler older people. But that didn't stop her from getting to know new people and making them feel like they mattered to her. She was my friend then and I loved every minute of it. There was even a moment where she convinced me, a self proclaimed couch potato, to join the softball team. That is just how charismatic she was.
Amanda passed away this past Friday and to be honest it didn't hit me right away when I found out. Then, last night, like a slow leaking pipe that can't stop from bursting, it hit me and man is this tough. I started thinking back about our relationship and seeing that I didn't do my best with her. I lost touch and didn't even try not to. When I left junior high I ended up going to a new high school and then two years later Amanda showed up in the hallways again. But the damage had already been done. We were not as close as we had been in junior high. Then as high school went on and all the individual dramas that go along with that happened we barely talked at all. We always smiled at each other and said hi, but I think I can count on one hand the number of times we talked in the hallway after classes. After graduation I did see her a couple more times and it was great. We gave each other hugs, smiled and laughed as we spent a few minutes talking to try to catch up.
The part with all of this that is so hard for me is that this is the first person my age who I actually knew, have had conversations with and have memories of that has passed away. This is uncharted territory that I am treading into and I am not sure how to handle it. The visitation is happening tomorrow and to be honest I am scared to go. Scared to see people from high school who unknowingly hurt me. Scared to see her family, brothers and the pain that they will be going through. Scared to deal with my own emotions about her death. I know that it will be helpful for me to go but there are some many layers to this that even an onion ain't got nothin' on this one.
I know it is probably to late to say this - But I know it is what I need to in order to give myself some sort of peace. So here it goes.
Amanda - I am sorry that I wasn't a better friend. You were always an amazing friend to those around you and I know that I personally took you for granted. For that I am truly sorry. You will be missed.