Two days ago marked exactly 10 years since Natalie’s passing.
It’s weird to read those words: 10 years since Natalie’s passing.
One entire decade has passed since I last had someone in my life. And not just “someone,” but a dear friend.
Each year I think it will get easier.
I don’t know if it has.
It gets tougher for different reasons.
Do I still remember exactly what her voice sounded like?
Am I still recalling events that happened with her exactly as they happened?
Because, that’s the thing with events — even important ones — they become memories that eventually fade.
And that makes me feel uncomfortable.
But, what I do know is that if it weren’t for Natalie, I wouldn’t be running marathons. And, running marathons has been the greatest gift I have given myself in my adult life. So, I have her to thank. She is helping me grow even though she is not physically present with me.
I still look in the direction of her house when I drive down her street. It doesn’t happen often that I drive down this street but when I do, I never hesitate to look. I don’t know what I’m expecting since her parents have long moved from this house. To me, it’ll always be Natalie’s house.
Today on my run home, I ran part of Green Lake and I glanced at that big grassy area across from the trail near Lower Woodland to see if I might find a bunny hopping around. Natalie and I would always go to that grassy area to chase after the rabbits, and take photos of them. The rabbits have been gone for years but I always look across the street for them.
I’m at a good place in life right now. But, this time of year is never easy.
That just goes to show what a wonderful person Natalie was.
A part of me will never stop missing you.