This picture comes from the Facebook page “Native American – Honoring our Ancestors, Culture & Spirituality” but credit goes to a friend for posting it.
Life is a funny thing.
Strange who comes in and out of our lives; stranger still is how. And when.
To refresh, my memory is not always in full working order. I lost a large portion of it after suffering a traumatic health event when I was nineteen. Gone were those two decades – my entire (short) life.
Some of those missing memories have come home. Others appear to be gone forever.
I remember many moments, though those memories are brief; they are like partially developed snapshots.
I remember some people but I forget more.
I have a few well-rounded, solid memories and those I hold on to dearly.
Mapping It Out
One of those memories is from geography class in grade 10.
I remember the teacher, colouring maps (lots and lots of maps!) and the day my toe was stepped on; all of it vividly.
On this day, we were all in our chairs – I believe mine was near if not in the front – until instructed by the teacher to come up and get a map. For some reason (go ahead and blame the faulty memory for the lack of detail here, ha ha!) there was a mad dash to the front of the room and my toe, exposed in my new Birkenstocks, was crushed by another student. She apologized and apologized, genuinely too. It hurt but I survived (wink wink).
The girl, who stepped on my toe, and I were not what you would call friends back in high school, we did not travel in the same circles, but our school was quite small and everyone pretty much knew everyone else in some way or another, so we were not strangers either. Our paths crossed over and over throughout those years.
She was a remarkably talented person and always positive, happy and full of life.
I did not have what you would call friends in high school though I would guess almost everyone knew me. I always did quite well academically, though now that I am an adult I know it was not as well as I could have done, I played sports, was involved in many student organizations (I was even Prime Minister of our Student’s Council), worked, was out-spoken (on one occasion there was an issue regarding me, my painting and the media)…some might say I was an over-achiever. Perhaps I was, but it was not because I set out to be. I have always had to be busy. That is one thing that I remember, not because of memory but because it feels familiar, and I still need to be.
I had groups of kids I hung out with though it usually depended on boyfriend I had or what I was involved in; I was the floater. Everyone knows the floater. That kid who is not really a part of any group in particular, the one who dances on all the lines. I have never been a ‘friends’ kind of person. I think it stems from my early childhood.
Do you want to be my friend?
Making friends was always a struggle for me. I never spent more than two years in a school (until I came to high school) and that made not only making but keeping friends really difficult. I was always the new kid. I was always teased and tormented for that and other reasons. And now, as a grown-ass woman, I still I find it a difficult thing to do. AND, I am not sure I have ever truly been successful.
Back around. The girl who stepped on my toe wandered back in to my life a couple of years ago. We connected (as most people do these days) through a social forum-thing.
Facebook to be exact.
We did the typical “LIKE” and “Comment” until one day she sent me a private message. She was getting married. She and her partner were looking for a custom cake topper, she had seen my posts about the cakes and edible art I had made and wondered if I would be able to make something for her upcoming wedding. I was thrilled. Flattered. After chatting with her it was clear she was very much the same delightful person I remembered.
We met at a mall half way between our respective homes. I brought the topper, my hubby and wee one. She came with her partner and best friend. Her best friend was going to ‘peek’ at the topper because they wanted it to be a surprise on the day of the wedding. It was a brief meeting but there were a lot of laughs shared between us all. It was lovely.
On the day of the wedding the topper was a hit!
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.
I think some people come across our path to teach us things that we would fail to learn without that interaction. Things only THEY or our relationship and dealings with them can teach us. Lessons that are necessary though we may not ever come to understand. Not in this lifetime or whatever comes next.
But we meet them.
Our paths cross.
We experience – sometimes good, sometimes bad – and we grow.
A lesson is imprinted on our souls.
And most times we are unaware of it all.
I recently started a page for the edible art I make and wanted to post what I had made for the gal I went to high school with, so I fired off a message requesting her permission to post it. She graciously granted it.
A couple of days later she contacted me and asked if I could make another one for another occasion. She knew we had relocated closer to my home town. I was happy to do so and we made arrangements for her to pick it up from our new home.
On the day she picked it up I was home with the wee one, hubby was at work. We had been expecting to receive our new washer and dryer (having already waited over a month, but that is a different story all together!) but had found out the day prior delivery had been pushed back. Again. Anyways, she arrived to pick it up and left about two and a half hours later.
She is a remarkable person. The visit was healing in ways I cannot explain but am so grateful for on multiple levels. She is truly someone I admire. We shared stories about all sorts of things. Things only those really close to us would know about yet it seemed necessary and natural that we share them with each other. Happy stories. Sad stories. We nattered on while playing LEGO with the wee one, whom without provocation said to me, “she is a very nice lady, Mama, I like your friend a lot.” When the time came that she truly had to depart it seemed like the visit was being cut short yet it also felt like it was, perhaps, the beginning of something and we both made verbal note of it as we said good-bye.
She shines so brightly.
And she gives awesome hugs.