Friday, May 27, 2011

Sharing Stories of Two Lifetimes

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. ~Unknown

I suppose I began thinking over my childhood after writing my last post. I used to live in a small community next to a lake in Ohio. We lived in a cottage that was meant to be a summer rental and was not very warm in the winter. There were not many children in the area and some only lived in a rental property for a few months. However, there was one girl just a year ahead of me in school who lived nearby.

She was the only child of older parents. Her father had a pipeline job that would make them move temporarily for a few months at times, but they would eventually come home to their farm. She had horses and taught my brother, my sister, and I how to feed apples to horses with our hands flat. She had a white painted playhouse in which we once had placed tadpoles caught in the ditches where we were not suppose to be because of the water moccasins in the area (and my brother did bit by one once). She had own room all to herself and a phone in her room! We had to go next door to my grandmother's to use a phone, a party line then, and phones were used so rarely in those days. I do not ever remember being envious of my friend even though she had so much more than I did, I just enjoyed playing with her. My family moved to a small city to live with my mother's father and the one time we stayed there for a vacation week, she was gone with her family.

My mother told me some years ago that she had found out where my friend was and her married name and maybe even her address, but I did not contact her. I am not sure why...perhaps it was because of my past. At her place or in Mr. Ike's yard, a large yard behind our small one, I could play out my illusions of innocence, normalcy, and even joy. At the same time, I am sure I did not seem so "normal" to other people. I always felt people knew things about me, but most people probably did not know much at all in reality.

Perhaps I wanted to keep the memories as they were, that my friend still lived at the small farm and I could visit her anytime if only in my memories. To know who she became and what she is doing now would remove the mystery and fade the memories perhaps. Who knows? We might not even like each other as we are now....

Well, today I remembered her name and the town in which she used to live. I looked it up and found her Facebook page and there was a picture of her. I knew in an instant it was her, but I have this staunch conviction to not join Facebook, so I found her husband's business and called explaining briefly who I was and that I was hoping to get his wife's phone number. He was very kind as he gave me her cell phone number and told me she was out running errands as she had the day off.

I called the number not having a clue what I would say and was almost relieved to get her voice mail. (I mean, could it be that we would have anything at all in common? Did that matter, really?) At least this way, I thought, it would be up to her whether she wanted to really talk to me or not. A few minutes later she called me back.

How do you fit the stories of two lifetimes into just a part of a day? It is impossible. Before the conversation ended, she gave me her email address and I promised to send her my blog address. Pictures were promised also.

Since she will be reading this, I just wanted to tell her something I did not on the phone: Thank you, Debbie, for being my friend. You may never know how much your friendship meant to me.

~ Thank you, my Lord, for all times I was able to be a happy child playing with my friend. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.