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Monday, August 4, 2008

Heather O'Hara From Cupertino, Ca

The day my mom dropped me off at California Lutheran University was one of the scariest days of my life.  I was so very ready for college and all it had to offer, but I was terrified to be on my own.  My mom and sister help me set up my dorm room, find the cafeteria and then they left.  I immediately broke out in hives.  I was scared to death.

Bu then Heather O'Hara from Cupertino asked me to go to dinner.  She was my roommate.  A bright, sunny red-headed girl with a passion for Mustangs.  She was so chipper it was almost freaky.   That first night we sat up getting to know each other.  I shared some popcorn from my electric popcorn maker and she marveled at the fact that I didn't like beer.   CLU is a very small place and 90% of students live on campus for all four years.  We shared a bedroom our entire four years and became inseparable.  

Heather was the life of the party and spontaneous, while being kind hearted and nurturing at the same time.   We rarely argued about typical roommate stuff.  I won the roommate lottery getting paired up with Heather O'Hara from Cupertino, Ca.   We took crazy road trips, pulled all nighters, dated the bad boys, went to Chapel (almost) every Wednesday, went to three Steve Miller concerts together and did all manner of crazy co-ed stuff.  Always together.   I once told her if she were a guy I would marry her.

We became each other's family away from our real families.  Heather O'Hara from Cupertino was the one who took me to the emergency room when I fell into a patch of cactus with a cute boy.  I sat in that same ER with her for three hours while she waited to be diagnosed with mono.   She held my hand and handed me tissues while I cried about whichever boy broke my heart that week.  She always had my back no matter what, and I had hers.  We would stay up late into the night sharing a Sara Lee Banana Cake and spill our deepest, darkest secrets with each other.  I once told someone one of her secrets and she found out.  She accepted my apology and never held a grudge.   She was that awesome.

Me and Heather, circa 1992

After we graduated, we got ourselves an apartment in the big city and real jobs.  That is when things started to change.   Heather O'Hara from Cupertino was miserable.  She was ready to be a grown up, while I was still having a hard time letting go of the college student lifestyle.  While I embraced living in the city, she was clearly not enjoying it.  When she decided to move back to her hometown (which is Cupertino, not too far from SF), I was pissed.  This was not part of our plan.   We grew apart.  We briefly reconnected and she made an effort, but I was not in a great place and I blew her off.    I meant to call.  Days turned into weeks.  Weeks turned into months.  Months turned into years.  

My mom absolutely adored Heather O'Hara from Cupertino and asks me about her often.  I get snappy and mad when she asks me if I've ever heard from her.  I'm not at my mom for asking.  I'm angry at myself.  Because this is just plain wrong and thinking about her makes me want to cry.  We didn't attend each others weddings.  She has never seen my kids or met my husband.  It seriously hurts my heart just to type that.    It's just not right.

I'm sure by now you're asking yourself why I don't just call her already.  I've tried.  I've tried Googling her name in every fashion I can think with no luck.  I'm sure she's married by now and has a new last name.  I've tried out alumni association, but they can't find her either.  I've Googled her brother's name as well as her parent's.  No luck.  I even went to far as to contact the church she used to attend in Cupertino, but they never answered my e-mail.

Which leads me to the whole point of this post.  Maybe, just maybe Heather O'Hara from Cupertino will Google her maiden name and come across my little blog.  Maybe someone who knows how to contact her will come across this.  I know she'd be mortified to have all this personal information about her on the internet.

It's a long shot, but I want so badly to reconnect with her.   So Heather O'Hara from Cupertino, send me an e-mail (mamagingertree@gmail.com).  Please.  I owe you an apology and I want to know what path your life has taken.  I want to sit down with you and relive those life changing years we shared.   I miss you terribly.

Go hug your friends old and new.  Forgive them.   Call them.  Tell them you love them.  Make the effort not to lose touch with the ones that really matter.  The amazing, should be life-long friends like Heather O'Hara from Cupertino, Ca.


Carrie said...

wow. I'm so sorry about the direction your friendship took.

I know they say that timing is everything.. and that's SUCH a crappy thing to hear when you're the one wanting things to be good right now.... but I'm a firm believer that connected souls will always have a way of coming full circle.

Keep putting that love and energy out there. after all.. you can't see if the light's not on, right? and have faith.

anymommy said...

Ack, my heart, I so hope that you find her. Going to call some old friends, right now!

Marinka said...

That is so heartbreaking. Have you tried googling your maiden name, in case she is looking for you?
I hope that you find her.

EatPlayLove said...

I have a similar story about a best friend from high school. we parted ways, I still hear about her from her parents, but the man in her life doesn't allow her to have friends. I still think about her all the time.

I hope she finds you, or you find her. Have you tried Facebook? (I don't facebook but it seems like many folks are connecting that way)

Maura said...

I feel you here. I lost touch with a best friend for similar reasons years ago. My mom drives me nuts by every once in a while asking, "Do you ever hear from...?"

I know right where to find her, so I guess I'm lucky in that, but I just don't feel ready yet, for reasons too complicated to explain.

I hope you find Heather since you ARE ready. I assume you've tried things like Classmates.com? The Facebook idea is good; you might also try MySpace.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if she went to Monta Vista High School in Cupertino? If she did, they have an extensive list of alumni for a number of years. Maybe you can connect with her that way. It's http://montavista.projectalumni.org/montavista/

Good Luck!