O.K. I found out today my friend, Laura is not a writer in New York. She's an activist.(Close enough.)
That's what happens when you don't lay eyes on someone for 15 years or so. Things fall between the cracks. I had a pen pal once. We wrote hundreds of letters dating from around 1973. It all started in Williamsburg, Virginia when his family and my family would sit on the little hotel stoop in the evening. He talked to my sister and mother most of the time and ignored me.(I was five years younger than he was.) Sometimes he would play his guitar. Still,we must have spoken at some point because on the last evening, he asked me for my address and promised to send the chords to "Stairway To Heaven" which he did. (Unfortunately, by the time I learned to play it no one wanted to hear it.) From then on we wrote and wrote and wrote- ten years - maybe more. Then he got married, and that was the end of that.
The good news is by then I had befriended his family, and am STILL friends with a cousin who also got married, but that wasn't the end of anything. I gained the cousin, his wife and now they have two kids- same ages as mine almost. After the initial shock of losing my pen pal, I realize we are friends with or without being in touch- although a lot of stuff probably has fallen through the cracks, the relationship still goes on.