I read an article this morning, an older one from the ABC news feed, about individuals with cystic fibrosis who choose to maintain friendships with others who also have CF even though it can be more dangerous to their health, due to the bacterial exposures. Anyway, this has all reminded me of Sam. I think about her occasionally, but I haven't been to her grave in years. Sam was one of my best friends as a child, and she had CF. She died when we were freshmen in high school, but she still shows up in my dreams from time to time.
I remember fairly recently having dreams where she would talk to me and we would go on rides at the fair. I don't really remember doing that with her - maybe we did, but she was always more succeptible to catching colds when it started to get colder, so I think I'm just imagining this as something she would have enjoyed. She's always still young when I see her in my dreams, but I'm often older - and she knows what has been happening in my life and she always brings me so much comfort. I can't picture her face without seeing her freckles and her wonderful smile.
Lately I've been thinking about the people who are no longer around in my life and thinking about what I've missed. In talking to my mom, I've started wishing that I had spent more time talking to my grandfather and asking him to share more stories about his life. My mom was telling me, after her recent visit to see her mother, about talking with her siblings and collectively piecing together information from their father to flesh out details from his past. I wish that they didn't have to do that, that they, and I, had asked the right questions and learned more before Pop was gone. I need to learn from this, so that I do get the stories preserved from other people before I lose them. I need to talk to my grandmother more, and get her to share with me. I feel this strong need to know more about her past, and to understand as best I can how she became the woman she is now. And not just her - I want to make sure my kids know the stories from my parents, the funny stories from their childhoods, the ones that show how they were shaped and influenced, the ones that capture their experiences. I guess I'm all caught up in the past at present, because I'm so afraid of how parts of my life are slipping away.