As I sit here in Starbucks sipping on a green tea latte, my mind wanders to memories of you. Of course green tea is not the only thing that puts you in the forefront of my thoughts. I think about you when I go see doctors, when I try to process through new problems with my health, when I discuss hardships and deep topics with friends. Sometimes you just spark up in my mind at random.
The way that we closed our relationship makes me sad. I do not regret my words or actions, for I believe that they were diplomatic and well-thought out, but I wish that things did not have to end as roughly as they did.
I can honestly say that I am not angry with you, that I hold nothing against you. I do not know if I am still hurt by the last few things you said to me or by the way you interpreted my intentions. I do not even know if I necessarily miss having you present in my life or if I think of you often simply out of habit.
I can say that the chief emotion I feel when considering you is sadness.
I am sad that we are no longer friends. Yet I am even more sad for you alone, for I know that you have been dealt a tricky hand and have faced more obstacles than any 21-year old woman should.
How do you work through so much intense pain without knowing Jesus? We we both know that you almost did not “work through so much” more than once– you were deeply suicidal at times. But you endured and still to this day claim ownership of your life here on earth. How? You have known so few people who have loved you well, who have shown you the abundant loving goodness of God. Your father was abusive, many of your friends were self-centered and hurtful, your brother is an alcoholic, your mother a good but angry and unhappy woman. Your own body has not shown you love. From cancer and mental illness to permanent injury and autoimmune diseases, your flesh and bones tried to give up on you so many times.
I am sorry that you have had to endure so much. I am sorry that last we talked, you did not know hope.
I have such feelings of sadness and empathy for you because, although we are no longer talking and no longer call each other friend, I will always consider you a sister and love you as one.
My hope is that now you have a lighter heart than when we last talked, that you know Jesus or even just that you know a greater power loves you with ridiculous depth, and that you endeavor to chase him and claim him for yourself.
I love you so dearly, Maria. I really do. I want to picture you surfing the coast of San Diego with a wide smile, writing captivating poetry, and strengthening others with your own story of strength.
I wish that I prayed for you more often than I do. But I will wish no longer. Prayer is something that nobody can take from me, something that transcends all relationships and lack thereof.
So I will pray for you. That is my way of showing that I am still fighting for you. I am sending fireworks from across this broad nation to meet you as you fly over each new obstacle.
And I am waving my banner to you from the distance. It reads the last phrase that you said to me:
“Amor por siempre”
“Love for always”
And I return it to you with all sincerity.