Sunday, June 12, 2011

Picking Up

Sis, Dad, Me and Debbie at our cottage a hundred years ago!
We hadn't talked in years and our communication had been sparse spare but the sporadic exchange of Christmas cards. Yet when I called her last week to express my condolences on her father's passing, all time and space evaporated and we simply picked up where we had left off.

And that is how it is with those whom we have a lasting bond. Debbie and her brother were the cousins I grew up with; our parents were best friends and as families we shared many adventures and weathered the trying times that accompany young couples with families just starting out. We lived across the street from one another when I was very young however my memories of that time are very clear. Our fathers pursued their academic degrees while raising their young families and juggling full time jobs. Our mothers pooled their pennies for cigarettes and found solace and companionship in one another. For me, it was a wondrous, innocent time with my best friends living right across the street -- my instant playmates. Debbie was my partner in crime (although she was definitely the sweeter and more compliant of us) and her brother was my hero. Even after years passed and we moved to another town, we spent many family holidays together.

I was 9 or 10 when I found out that they actually weren't my first cousins, but rather, our parents were first cousins. I estimated that they were probably my second or third cousins ... and I recall asking my mother if third cousins could marry!

Debbie and I spent time in the city together as we pursued our education and our relationship has always remained constant ... and unconditional.

We lost our beloved mothers within months of one another and we were able to commiserate over the change in our lives. Now her father - my "uncle" - has passed and there is yet another little hole frayed into the fabric of her life. We talked about those holes and spaces and as we chatted, I realized that other reasons we are important to one another, are the memories we carry of one another;  the pieces of our history we hold.

And no matter what changes come our way, the moments we have created and shared, the memories we have made; the love we hold dear remain the same. And we can always pick up where we left off.

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