Over the course of the past several months, my mind has been in the trenches. It feels like a blur, except for those moments where I relive the words that hurt, cut and bleed. And then suddenly there’s a Light. And that Light was an old friend. A very old friend. My very first friend in elementary school.
Three years ago, I bumped into her. Well, it was more like a virtual bump. She googled me and found my blog. Looking back, that moment felt so grand. And perhaps that moment may not seem grandiose to you, but I reveled in its grandiosity. I seldom get to do that. So I’m giving myself the permission to celebrate the feelings that surfaced when we reconnected.
Sadly, I don’t remember our days together well enough to tell you a story. This will not be a ‘remember when’ post. I can create a story, after all, that’s what writers do. But, our story deserves authenticity and truth.
What do I remember? I remember her. I remember her shy and soft personality. I remember her sweet smile and her tender heart. She was kind and a tremendous friend. Below I share with you what she wrote on my blog the day she found me:
“I was telling my boyfriend the other day how on my first day of kindergarten, a kind little girl named Linjen, took me under her wing and helped me socialize in ‘after school care’ at Charles R. Hadley. I told him I was lucky to meet her because I only knew Spanish and was painfully shy. (I was trying to convince him why our baby girl needs to speak both English and Spanish before going to school).. I decided to look you up and came across your blog. I am so happy for you and glad you are following your passion for writing and being a SAHM. You are a beautiful person inside and out.
P.S. – You haven’t changed a bit! Same looks, same spirit”
Old Friend, I was in absolute rapture after hearing from you and reading your message.
Fast forward three years today.
I posted on Instagram a drawing my son made. Below is a comment she left:
“I have a notebook with my drawings when I was 6 years old. There is a drawing you did in my notebook. I’ll look for it and post it. You must have been 6 or 7.”
Drawings that I made? I was curious, but also slightly embarrassed at what I would see.
Several minutes later she posted 3 of my drawings on her Instagram account, with this caption.
“I’m pretty sure these were your drawings. This is from a notebook I have with my artwork when I was 6-7. The abstract one was your idea and it was to scribble without picking up the pencil off the paper and then color in between with colors I like. You were so artistic at such a young age!”
I spent all night trying to remember. I closed my eyes with the hope that some sort of sensorial memory would surface. Her laughter. Her voice. Her heart. Yet all I got was total erasure. I wonder at what point did I forget her? That little girl that I once was. I don’t remember her at all. I think the little girl inside of all of us lives through stories told, stories passed down from our families and those friends who ARE family (Jennifer, I’m talking to you!). But when you don’t hear those stories, the ones that bring light to your life, that little girl gets put inside a box with all the other “stuff,” and she’s…forgotten.
And so that night I wept. I wept for that little girl long abandoned. Nothing about my past has evoked so much emotion in me as these drawings and my friend’s words. It’s not often you find someone who can remember you in the age of innocence.
And I continued to weep for the untainted joy she must have felt when drawing and coloring. I grieved because recently I purchased an adult coloring book and when I color, calm wraps its arms around me and gives me that hug that I very much need. There was a familiarity that remained obscure until now.
I mourned as a Mom. I have always known to be true how important it is to nurture and help our children along their journey of discovering what they are good at. We have to remember we are here to give them wings so they can one day fly.
I stared long and hard at those drawings. It was a poignant moment, but I also felt a lightness in spirit. I don’t remember that little girl and I’m sorry that I don’t. But I’m happy that someone does. Thank you, my very first friend for sharing with me a part of myself that I would have otherwise never known existed had it not been for you. Thank you for keeping a part of me with you after all these years.