Edited by Jenn Funk
It had been a year since she had seen her camp buddy, Sara, but they still remained close. Unfortunately, because of school she didn't have the opportunity to volunteer at the camp where they had first met. Sara had been a dedicated camp member for the past four years, the same amount of time that she had been cancer-free. Since she was only 13 years old, it felt like this disease had consumed most of her life but she continued to stay positive and looked forward to attending camp every summer.
The two were dedicated to their friendship but keeping in contact was difficult when one was pursuing a degree, working a full time job and continuing to volunteer. It broke her heart to have missed camp last year but next summer is only half a year away now. It wouldn’t be long until they were back in their normal routine of making crafts and hiking.
One night, she got an email from Sara's mother. They were in the hospital because Sara needed a have a blood clot removed. After skimming the beginning of the email she determined it wasn't too serious but she still decided to call her roommate about the update. Both her and her roommate had volunteered together and Sara meant a great deal to both of them. While she was on the phone she reassured her friend that everything was OK. She just wanted her make sure that she was informed. They made jokes and laughed when finally she said, "OK, but seriously let me read this so you know what's going on with Sara."
The email read, "Hello, I just wanted to let you know that we have been in the hospital the past week with Sara. Our little girl fought off cancer for four years but, due to the wear and tear, ended up forming a blood clot. We were reassured that it wasn't cancerous and that the surgery was fairly routine. Sara has been through so much that she was barely phased by the news. You know how she was always able to stay positive. Unfortunately, Sara unexpectedly passed after her surgery. We are still unsure what happened but I wanted to let you know that she is no longer with us..."
Wait… What just happened?
Shocked, she no longer knew what to say.
"I'm so sorry, Elizabeth! I should have finished reading the email before I called you. I had no idea how it was going to end! I just wanted to let you know that she was in the hospital, not that she had… I didn't know she had… passed. I'm so sorry."
Click. (She hung up)
She didn’t know what to do, what to think.
A life that had barely started was over and she was still struggling to comprehend what she had just read. Only regret filled her mind. She knew that her volunteering wouldn't have saved Sara or prevented this situation, but maybe it would have lessened the hurt and the pain she felt from losing last summer with her. Now, she can never get back the summer that she missed, or the friend that she lost.