This story is based on losing one’s faith, finding it again and as the cliché goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” We choose different paths in life when it comes to our friends yet, somehow the connection of the heart remains the same.
My New York girlfriend, Franca and I had known each other for 26 years, we met in Queens, New York at a community college and she became the sister I never had almost immediately. Knowing each other for that amount of time I had a tendency of drifting in and out of her life. I would meet someone and become romantically involved and the next thing you knew months would go by without communicating with each other. The typical old story. It seemed whenever a relationship of mine ended, we would pick up where we left off as if no time had passed at all.
The last time there was a large gap between the two of us speaking was when I moved from Texas to Florida. I think it had been about a year since we had spoken. I had my own place and never unpacked everything. There were still boxes pilled high in my closet.
While at work one day…a malefic day in New York had struck in which everyone on this planet was affected …9/11. The owners of the company were from New York too as I was. They closed the office early that day and I ran home. As I entered my apartment tears were rolled down my cheeks. I ran to the closet in search of a small piece of paper I had carried around for years. I opened up all the boxes…scattering papers, books and photos all over my living room floor. And then I saw it…the paper I had been looking for. On one side of the paper there was an illegible phone number…probably a drink had spilled on it … this was my friend’s phone number. I turned it over and on the other side of the paper there was her sister’s phone number…but, the paper was torn and missing the last digit.
I immediately picked the phone up and dialed New York numbers using zero through nine trying to fill in the last digit. I was crazed because all I could think of was my friend’s sister had worked in one of the towers that collapsed. I left at least seven messages in a fifteen minute period on stranger’s answering machines in the hopes that I could find my friend…my confidant…my sister. I’m sure the individuals who listened to my message thought I was crazy…crying into the phone in search of my long lost friend.
Two days later the phone rang and on the other end there was the woman I needed to hear from…my dearest friend…. my sister. We spoke for hours and before we hung up I promised that no matter what I would not ever loose contact again. And to this day I have kept my word to her. It was through this tragedy that I learned, life is too short and to always keep in touch with the one’s you love. And on a happy note, her sister was fine.