I like to think we would have been good friends if Charlotte's life hadn't taken the turn it did, if she hadn't been in a bike accident when we were 20. As it was, she spent half her life in a coma, and a few weeks ago, she died.
We were only three days apart. Our parents had been friends in college. We only saw each other once a year, if that, when my family traveled to Astoria (a small town on the Oregon coast) to visit her family in their old, cozy house. But we never ran out of things to talk about, and sometimes we wrote to each other. We were both idealistic and sensitive. We loved books and dreamed of becoming writers, and I still have the books about writing that she loaned me the last time I saw her, during a visit at Christmas.
Seeing her obituary brings back those memories and makes me miss our budding friendship. And it makes me sad all over again that her promising life was altered as abruptly as it was. The picture her family chose makes her look like a young poet. I like to think she would have become a gifted writer, and that we'd talk over tea about the writing life during our trips to Astoria, and perhaps our children (if she'd decided to marry and have children) would play together. Is it wierd to say I miss her when I hadn't seen her for 20 years? I miss her.
God bless you, Charlotte.