when we were in college, my friend M's family used to come to visit a bit, since they lived close and she was the oldest of three daughters.
when they came to town, they always made me feel as if I were their daughter, too. they were supportive and caring and wonderful.
a few years into our friendship, M and I sat in the couches at the local bar one night talking about our dads. how much we both loved them. how much they had shaped our lives. both in good and not-so-good ways.
the similarities were striking. they both worked too much, drank too much and smoked too much at one time. they didn't always make time for their kids. but they always did when it really mattered.
she and I had never talked of these things with our other friends. it was too hard. but that one night we talked to each other. and small mentions would be made later, but the topic was never discussed again.
when my dad got emphysema from smoking for too many years, M was the one who understood. similar circumstances had caused her dad to quit, also.
M was the one who understood how scared I was four years ago that I sat by my dad's hospital bed for two days until they figured out he was going to be ok.
she called to talk to me about her dad's health problems. but he'd been doing better towards the end of last year.
I got a call today. M's dad passed away last weekend. the call was from another friend, she said M wasn't ready to talk about it.
I wanted to hop a plane to give her a huge hug. I wanted to jump in my car and go see my dad.
life's too short. not fair. all of that. but it's also a reminder to show the people I love that I love them. tell them. hug them.