Sometimes, for whatever reason, we lose touch. We don’t just lose touch with friends, family, and each other; we also lose touch with ourselves. We lose touch with reality. Our jobs, our cars, our personal agendas all take on the roll of the intangible delicacies of life, and we forget that these things will never love us back. We forget what is important in life.
My college dorm mate and I had an interesting two years living together, probably because we were the two most opposite people that could have shared a living space. Not just a living space, but two desks, two dressers, two beds, and all contents belonging to two individuals crammed into what felt like a 4×8 cement cell. Dorm style living is never glamorous, especially when it is forced upon you for two years by your university.
Dorm living sucked.
Can I get an AMEN?
Ashley was a cheerleader in high school, and I was a basketball and volleyball player. I surfed, she sewed. I liked rock and she liked country. I liked to write and she liked to knit. I
am was obsessed with the show Friends and she would kill me if I even thought of changing The Cooking Channel. We were two very different people, who didn’t necessarily get along half of the time.
We did have moments of alliance, where our differences did not pose a threat to our sanity. We won the “how well do you know your room mate” challenge two years in a row, and I couldn’t even complain when she wanted to watch the cooking channel, because she was the BEST cook. Even with only a microwave in our dorm room, I’m positive her hot pockets always came out the best. After the two years that Ashley and I spent living in the “comforts” of Smith Hall, we went our separate ways.
Other than the occasional contrived “Happy Birthday”, or that awkward “Hey. How’s it going? Good. See ya,” hall passing, Ashley and I didn’t speak for a while. It wasn’t that we were angry at each other, we just didn’t have much to talk about. I’m sure many of you have had this experience walking down the street, or in the grocery store, when you see somebody that you’ve known for years, but it’s easier to pretend like you’re strangers than to make genuine eye contact and exchange in congenial conversation.
We lost touch.
It has been almost five years since Ashley and I lived together, and our conversations have always remained sparse, and some degree of simple. A few weeks ago I was driving home from work, and I stumbled upon my little cousin’s Facebook. I realized that Nathan now goes to high school where Ashley was once a cheerleader. My mind started drifting the way a mind tends to drift when you’re driving along a scenic route and “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is playing. I started wondering about how Ashley might be doing these days. It wasn’t a passing thought, it was an honest and deliberate reflection that came out of nowhere. When I arrived home, I took out my phone and sent Ashley a Facebook message to say hi and to let her know I was thinking about her.
The response was beyond shocking and heartbreaking.
Ashley’s younger sister, Alicia, had been diagnosed with Cancer.
The passing weeks for Ashley, Alicia, and their family, were filled with a roller coaster of emotions, traveling back and forth to various hospitals, for surgery and treatment.
In the middle of all of the madness, I believe I was meant to connect with Ashley at this time in her life.When moments like these occur, we MUST regain touch. We MUST remember what it’s like to be human, and accept each other’s flaws. We MUST have compassion. There is never a point in time where past silly teenage altercations become more important than what is happening in the present moment.
It is at this time that I ask you, whoever you are, to take five minutes out of your day, and click the link that I have attached to the bottom of this page. If not for Ashley, or Alicia, do it for something deep within. Do it for something bigger than you. If there has ever been a reason to donate to a cause it’s this: Cancer survivors are not just Cancer survivors. A disease can’t define anybody. Alicia is younger than I am, with the world in her hands, and a large future in front of her. She is NOT just somebody who has been diagnosed with Cancer. She is a girl with a career. She is a girl with friends. She is a daughter. She is a sister. This isn’t some stranger knocking on your door soliciting a brand new knife set, this is somebody’s life. Somebody I value. Instead of spending that 20$ on the window sale you passed this morning, put it toward hope.
I won’t try to sell you on statistics, I just want you to take a moment and reconnect with what is important in life.
Once you do, please, don’t lose touch.
Thank you kindly for reading, I truly appreciate your time.
I know Ashley and Alicia do as well.
Wishing you all peace and good health.