I had three bridesmaids, three of them I went to college with, and two of them ended up at the same university as me.
I lost touch with all of them partly due to my family’s relentless shifts and moves, but also through their relentless shifts and moves. I thought this would be forever, until, as is often the case today, I rediscovered Shelley on facebook.
Her surname hadn’t changed which made it easier, and she accepted my friend request.
I did the usual and sent a note to see how she was, and checked out her photographs. I sent her a bit of news. I heard some of hers.
However, one day I found out she was moving up the road to Cairns, just a couple of hundred kilometres from me. ‘Why not meet up?’ I suggested.
It took a while with our busy schedules, and she had two young children and was working and I had three older kids and was doing an arts project, but eventually the day came for a catch up with my bridesmaid, her kids and my family.
We met at the beach and went for a walk with her kids. They were just little darlings. My children are older, but quite nurturing and were happy to play with them.
As we talked and walked I realised how different it can be to be with people who have known you through your toughest times versus people who have just met you.
There were so many things I need not say to my bridesmaid, about college, our university days, about the sorrows of one of my brother becoming brain damaged, and another dying young, about just who I was.
I took photographs, and my bridesmaid who truly hates being photographed, relented because it was for me and we hadn’t seen each other in so long, why not capture it in pictures.
She came later and visited us at our home with her kids. We stayed up and spoke to each other for half the night, and then poor thing her kids and she all became violently ill with the flu. She was mortified this happened when she visited but I kept saying ‘it really doesn’t matter, I’ve been through that, please don’t feel bad.’
Now being a conversation of old friends, I am not going to recount it all as that’s between me and my bridesmaid, but she did say one very interesting thing to me which was ‘you have truly become yourself .. . you always used to try a bit too hard.’
It is amazing to see how someone else sees you, and I realised she was right. I wasn’t hurt, but was happy to take that observation on board and turn it over in my head.
I could see my friend more clearly too, and how dedicated she was to being a mother-after years of travelling and career, and how compassionate she had always been and still was.
I was so glad to have an old friend re-enter my life, and become a present day friend once more.
Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open, this month’s Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them! Goal 19 pieces on Who Shaped Me.