When I was about 10 years old a little girl came into my life. She lived down at the end of the street with her Mom and grandparents. She was a wild child, a free spirit and the spark of life to my quieter, more passive personality. She became my very best friend in all the world. I will call her "D".
At 13, when "D" 's Mother remarried, she had to leave and travel the world because of her new father's job. I saw her off at the San Francisco Airport every year with solemn promises to write and see each other again the following summer..., and that we did. She wrote about Holland, American schools, new boyfriends, wonderful adventures and her new life. I wrote her and told her about Junior High School, new boyfriends and life in Pleasant Hill, California.
Every summer "D" would come back to her grandparents house. I would wait for a phone call , hear her voice and then run to the end of the street to see her.
We would spend everyday talking about her adventures. She would show me wonderful new things that I had never heard about. When she came back ,one summer, from Kuwait in Saudi Arabia she brought "Cous-cous" in a bag and showed me how to make it edible. She had clothing that was so "European" and then...., there would always be something for me. She never forgot to bring me some beautiful thing from some interesting place in the world.
We wrote letters for 5 more years and every summer we would spend our wonderful, fragile time together sleeping in the backyard, sharing boyfriends, skinny dipping in her grandparents backyard pool and laughing our way through the hot summers of our teenage years.
My Mother became her "Summer Mom" and she became another child in our house. She still lived at her grandparents house most of the time but she loved being at our home.
"D" graduated from an air force base school in Northern Africa and returned to the U.S. We started college, got married and she went back east for a few years, then moved to Montana, became a nurse and stayed in the Big Sky state never traveling to another country again.
The story is long, the distance has always been far and the visits few, but the bond we forged so long ago has never been broken. We have stayed connected all these years and when she knew that Mom was dying ..., she came.
She drove from Montana, hoping to get here before Mom passed but didn't make it . I'm sorry she wasn't able to see Mom and talk to her. Mom knew she was coming and looked forward to seeing her other "daughter". There are things in life that just don't happen the way you want them to. It's sad but true. But, there was so much more.
"D" stayed for a week. She cried with us and laughed with us. She helped bring all of Mom's things home in her truck. She listened, gave comfort and told us things about our family that even we had forgotten. . She became a support system of love and humor..., and wisdom. My sister has always known that "D" was part of this family in so many ways. There are blessings that you just don't see in your life and then they arrive with arms open and you don't question them.
My friend was always there; in the summers of my childhood, in letters from around the world, playing in creeks and old oak trees and under a white parachute that bellowed on a green lawn in her grandparents yard (she knows what I mean)..., and she was there last week because she is my friend and we love each other.
She was there.
She came home with me. Gave an old friend(the Prospector) a big hug; Met Carl for the first time. Fell in love with him and he returned the affection. and she settled in for a few days . She got to met the goats and Annibel, listen to the Coyote and Fox at night and take photos of bumblebees with me..., and sit on the porch. We talked and I cried; and she was there.....
We had two lovely days and then the familiar leaving. It would be a long drive back to Montana and her hubby that waited, their dog and chickens..., and her job.
She called twice on her way back. Now, she is safely home.
Thank you my sweet, sweet friend. I hope you know what this meant to me. Your friendship is a gift of memories and love. Like the Oak tree we played in as children, you gave me support to climb to a new level of my life, a place without parents and you did it silently asking for nothing.