Like everyone, my husband and his friend had their ups and downs and their phases when they kept in touch better than others. You always think there's more time, right? More time to plan that trip to visit, more time to make that phone call, etc. I will be forever grateful that my husband's friend did meet our son after he was born last spring. It had been a while since we saw him, but it was such a wonderful visit. He and his mom spoiled our little guy with gifts, including one particular toy that has become a favorite and I think of him every time our son plays with it.
Then for Christmas, we got a package in the mail with a sweet note and gift cards to Barnes & Noble and Target. It's very likely we might have used the Target card for practical things like diapers, but when a few short weeks later, this friend had passed away, I knew I wanted to make his last gift something we would hold onto for years to come. My best friend helped us brainstorm and we decided on classic children's books of the silly/goofy/fun variety. Shel Silverstein sure fit the bill, as did Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Pippi Longstocking. I hadn't heard of A Long Way from Chicago before, but the description sounded like it would fit right in with the others. What better way to remember a friend than by reading a story and sharing a laugh?
And remember what I said about always thinking you have more time? Well, my husband stayed in touch with his friend a lot by text, so he thanked him right away. I wanted to send a thank you note also, but I'm the kind of person who remembers and forgets things at least a three times before they actually get done (especially if I don't write it down). And who ever thinks if you take a couple weeks to send a note, that you'll never get the chance? I know it had never even crossed my mind. So even with a busy schedule and a 10-month old to chase after, I've been trying to be better at not making excuses and putting things off. Make that call, send that note, plan that visit -- you won't regret it. And don't take friends or family for granted because you just never know what tomorrow might bring.