I didn’t see this coming.
“Oh my gosh, no,” I thought to myself. “I can’t do this.”
My family and I were staying in Salt Lake City for the weekend, and because of a scheduling mishap, our reservations were saved at a different location than where we anticipated.
So we went over to the other hotel, feeling slightly less than thrilled about the change in our travel plans.
I hadn’t even made it fully through the revolving door to the lobby when, all of a sudden, a wave of memories from my last stay in this hotel came crashing down on me.
I started to cry and left my parents to find a place where I could be alone, but the more I saw of the hotel, the more these memories pounded through my mind and the more I cried.
By the time I got to our room, my parents noticed something was wrong, but I couldn’t get myself to vocalize what I was thinking.
As I walked into our room, in my mind’s eye, I saw her again, just like I had four and a half years earlier, standing by the TV and singing Adele’s “Someone Like You.” I cried, and I cried as every memory from that weekend raced through my mind.
“Girl, what is wrong?” my mom asked as I continued to cry.
After no response, she asked again, and I sputtered out what was going on in my head.
“The last time we were here, we were with Kassie and Angelica,” I told her.
I sat on the chair and cried as I recalled so clearly my thought from four and a half years earlier, “I know I’ll see Kassie again.”
I didn’t know my time to see her again was limited.
Kassie was one of my childhood best friends, and even when she moved away in the fifth grade, we managed to keep in touch. We even planned to take a trip to Venice when we got older. I still think of her whenever I see pictures of that city.
Well, about three years after our weekend stay in Salt Lake City, and a month or so after being home from my mission, Kassie passed away.
For the next year, until we had her memorial service, something would remind me of her almost every single day. I felt a lot of closure at her service, and I felt I had moved on to the acceptance stage of the grieving process.
I don’t know what happened to me at the hotel. Maybe it was the lack of sleep or of mental preparation, but I felt like I had unexpectedly been caught in an emotional avalanche.
But this experience and some that followed throughout the rest of my stay there taught me something.
It is human and normal to be upset when moments like this happen, but Kassie wouldn’t want me crying in a hotel over her.
I decided during my last visit in that hotel to make sure I treasure the time I have with my friends and family who are still here and make sure they know how important they are to me while I can still have time to.
I may have been wrong about always being able to see this best friend of mine again in this life, but I can truly say I know I’ll see her in the next one.
But until then, I hope each of us will make sure to cherish the time we have with our loved ones and take every opportunity to remind them how much they mean to us.