Christina and I met in March 1993 (edited, since I goofed in the wee morning hours and put in 2003), after I had moved to San Pedro, CA during 7th grade. She and I became fast friends. She sat next to me on our Science Class' weekend camping trip. After that, we were inseparable until 9th grade. Christina joined Tall Flags (and at one point, even got to be in the Rose Parade!) and I started hanging out with other friends. We still talked and I still considered her my best friend.
In 10th grade, I moved to the Bay Area because my parents divorced. She and I kept in touch via snail mail (this was before email was the way to go), and would talk every once in a while on the phone. Both of us became busy with our on lives, and slowly, we drifted apart. But I still considered her one of my best friends.
In February 2006, I was on my way to Disneyland with my mom, sister, and my girls. On a whim, I called Christina and asked if she could meet us at Downtown Disney at the Rainforest Cafe for lunch. She happily did! It was so nice to meet up with her after so long and catch up. We talked about everything: her job, my marriage and divorce, people we went to school with. It was great.
Sadly, on September 2, 2006, she was in an accident and lost her life. I didn't find out until a few days later via her MySpace page. Unfortunately, her mom didn't have any contact info for me. I eventually got in touch with her mom, and gave her pictures of Christina and me from when we were kids, and when we had met that February.
I think about her a lot. I think about how sad it was that we didn't keep in touch better. I think about my other friends who I call only once in a blue moon. I think about friends I haven't seen since high school or longer. Life is something we tend to take for granted, but when I think about my friend, I remember that nothing is ever for certain. With the anniversary of 9-11 fast approaching, we all will be remembering that.
So, today, be sure to call your parents. Stop by a neighbor's house you haven't visited in a while. Write a letter (not an email!) to a friend who lives across the country...or even around the world! Let those you love know how you feel. Don't hold a grudge. And remember: for every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.
Christina Jasmine Gandhi
August 10, 1980 - September 2, 2006