It can seem like a long time and it can seem like yesterday all at once.
Yesterday was twenty years since my friend Stacy died. Although I had this post rolling around in my head and in my heart last night, I just couldn't put it to screen.
Yesterday was also Earth Day.
Twice yesterday, once in the morning and once last night, I had tears spring to my eyes unexpectedly and with no warning.
The first time it happened I chalked it up to PMS and brushed it off.
It was an hour or so later when someone on the radio mentioned Earth Day, and all at once it hit me.
It wasn't just Earth Day. It was April 22nd.
It was the 20th anniversary of one of the worst days of my life.
I wrote about Stacy last year and included a lot of the details, here, in case you want to catch up.
Last year, for a couple of nights leading up to April 22, I dreamed about Stacy. The greatest part was the last dream in the series where Stacy and I talked, caught up, and were just friends as we had been at the beginning of our senior year.
Not a day goes by that I don't miss her; that I don't have at least a little regret about taking our friendship for granted.
I still her see her face in crowds sometimes, although I don't think I've dreamed about her recently.
At the end of the day yesterday, when I thought I was composed and had made it through the day, the tears sprang up again.
I was just standing at the counter in the kitchen, pouring myself some water and getting ready to head to bed. For all intents and purposes, everything was "fine."
That's why it was so weird! Like nothing I've ever experienced before! It was almost like a reminder from her at the end of the day: "Remember me."
And I do.
Not just every April 22, but when I see a sweet smile like hers.
I think of Stacy when I remember my freshman year of college. I wonder how things might have been different had she been there with me.
I wonder how she would look today.
If she would've gotten married.
I wonder what her kids would look like.
I think of Stacy when I pull over to rescue a turtle from the road, because that is definitely something she would have done.
I think of Stacy every time I make a new friend named Stacy.
I think of her when I see a cute, short, blond walking ahead of me in a store or in a crowd.
It's never really a conscious thing when she pops into my mind, but it is nice to know she's always there in my memories.
I still miss you Stace!
Hope to see you again someday!
* FYI, the fact that Stacy has been gone for 20 years, also means my 20 year High School Reunion is coming up! Yikes!
How in the world, can 20 years go by so fast?!
Don't blink, y'all, don't blink.