Reconnecting with an Old Friend When Living with a Chronic Disease

Reconnecting with an Old Friend When Living with a Chronic Disease
About six months ago, I reconnected with my childhood best friend, Suzanne, after losing contact with her more than 15 years ago. We had been very close since meeting in third grade in Alabama. She even spent most of the summer with me when my family moved to Florida four years later. Both of us moved around during the years that followed, but we stayed in touch with phone calls and letters. Though we were miles apart, we grew up together, sharing the best and worst of our lives. Then, sometime around 2003, we lost touch. I remember the last time we talked. She had called in the middle of the night. Normally, I wouldn’t have answered the phone, but I saw her name on caller ID and picked up. When we said goodbye, little did we know that we wouldn’t speak to each other again for more than a decade. I don’t know how we lost contact with each other. She was newly remarried, and I was recently divorced, and maybe our lives just got in the way. I tried calling her number a few times but didn't get an answer. Emails bounced back. I even found her parents’ address online and tried sending them a letter in the hope of finding her. Every time I bought a new cellphone, I transferred her number over so that I would see her name on caller ID if she ever called. I finally gave up and deleted her number a few years ago, fearing that something had happened to her. I didn’t want toxic people from my past to know about my current life, so I didn’t join Facebook until I married in 2016. I used my married name and set high privacy settings. As I began connecting with friends, Suzanne was one of the first people I searched for. I tried every iteration of her name: married name, maiden name, first name (Suzanne is her middle name), and even her original surname bef
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