Wednesday morning began like every other morning. My alarm went off at twenty to seven and I dragged myself out of bed to walk the dog. I was met at the back door by my lovely ten year old and off we set. Since the beginning of the new school year this has become our morning ritual and I have to admit I’m really enjoying these morning walks. It’s a chance for us to talk and a great way of hearing any little worries she may have.
We got back from our stroll, called the lads, had breakfast and got ourselves ready to leave the house. I dropped the kids to the bus and Darren to work and returned home to clean like mad because some wonderful friends where calling the next day.
All pretty boring and mundane I hear you say. And it was.
Until I sat down with a coffee and began to read the post. There nestled among the bills was a little card addressed to me in my best friend’s handwriting. I tore the envelope apart, dying to read what she had to say. Pushing aside the card that fell out, it could be looked at later; I was far too impatient to hear her news.
I gasped audibly when I read the she would be moving to New Zealand, the tears started to flow and continued to flow for most of the day.
I cannot explain the overwhelming sense of loss held in those few words in that little card.
I have known Emma for over twenty two years. We met as sixteen year olds working after school and at weekends in Roches Stores on Henry Street. I have many things to be thankful to that store for. Being placed in a tiny stockroom picking pricing stickers from Christmas Light boxes until my fingers bled is one.
It was in that tiny stockroom that I first met my gorgeous friend. Tall, beautiful, extremely poised and with flowing blonde hair. She seemed so self-assured that I thought she must have been working in Roches for ages! I on the other hand had just begun, was shy and still finding my feet. It wasn’t long before we struck up conversation and we haven’t stopped taking since. It was years later when we were asked how we met that I found out she had been feeling exactly the same.
Although weeks and sometimes months can go by without us seeing each other we always slip back into our comfortable friendship as soon as we meet. Memories, confidences, hopes, dreams, joys and disappointments have been shared over the years and I could not imagine life without her.
The extra little something that fell from the card was a Tea bag. No ordinary tea bag mind you. No, this was a Forever Friends Tea Bag. Complete with the following little rhyme;
“I cannot sit and chat with you
The way I’d like to do
So brew yourself a cup of tea
I’ll think of you –you think of me.
Needless to say the tea bag has not been used yet. I have had to hide it away. Every time I catch a glimpse of it the tears fall again. My nine year old has reassured me that it is; “ok to show my feelings”, and that while, “Auntie Emma will be very far away there will always be a piece of her in our hearts.”
This is very true. While we started out as work buddies, time very quickly made us firm friends. Emma is the younger sister I never had. She is my daughter’s fairy godmother and is a much loved aunt to both of my children. She is embedded so deep in my heart that I know distance will not be an obstacle to our friendship.
The following poem came to mind as soon as I read the news.
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Just like everyone in this life I have had many friends over the years; many have since become distant memories. These have been friends for reasons and seasons. My friendship with Emma is a lifetime relationship that has grown and matured as we did. It has seen many personal storms and struggles as well as seeing the joys that life has brought us both. It is a warm safe place to go to in times of great joy or trouble.
For many years now we have both toasted Roches Stores and the HR manager for placing us both in that tiny stockroom. I’m sure we’re not the only lifelong friendship that started there.