I met a dear friend in NYC for lunch- we don’t see one another often, maybe once or twice a year but that never matters. We keep up on Facebook and are in touch through email, and the time apart never makes a difference. We have known each other since she was 20 and I was 24, when at the time we were both dating brothers. Our relationship evolved into one of friendship on a familial level of sorts, we spent a good amount of time with the family of these two brothers, and time together allowing our friendship to grow. She went on to marry the brother she had been dating for some 3 years, while I said good bye to mine. We lost touch for many years until the brother I had dated became ill 5 years ago and I reconnected with him and came back into this family’s life. I wrote about it here.
I always felt a certain “motherly” or big sister feeling towards her. We spent time together and developed a bond that ran deep as we shared an understanding of the family dynamic, the ups and downs within the family. We could talk openly and honestly to each other about our relationships with those brothers. Years later she told me she had always wished I had been her sister in law, she had envisioned our wonderful friendship continuing through the years. But even though we had been out of touch for over 20 years, once we reconnected those years in between didn’t matter at all. The foundation we had built all those years ago stood firm, our mutual love for one another still there.
When we saw each other last week we sat for hours filling each other in and then delving deeper into conversation as we had always done, sharing our innermost thoughts. The past, the present, the what ifs and the what was. She told me she still thinks of me as her big sister, and I said I had been thinking the same on my way in to meet her that morning. Our past connecting us in a unique way, brought together by two men and their family, she living with them, me having been touched deeply by them but moving on, until years later reconnecting with them all as if I had never left. I smiled on my bus ride home, remembering us as young girls, our lives ahead of us, smiling at the past being part of my present, smiling at the thought of how fortunate I was to have her in my life.