Today is the birthday of one of my closest childhood friends. I met her in Cincinnati, Ohio when I was four. I had known her for five years when I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter she moved there too--right next door to me!
I recall endless conversations shouted between our bedroom windows across the driveway. Her birthday is four days before mine, and our mothers often took us out to a grown-up lunch to celebrate together. We even went to the same summer camp.
We stayed in close touch through college and beyond. But then our lives took different paths. She was an artist. She lived in Manhattan. I lived in suburban Boston with a husband and kids. She visited me once or twice, but we didn’t have all that much in common any more. So we gradually drifted apart.
We still exchange birthday cards and we haven’t missed a year. The other night I tucked a letter into my card for her with an update on our family. As I wrote, I realized that I have no idea how she is doing. At this stage of our lives, things can change quickly.
I’ll look for a card from her in four days.