Sometimes I feel that aside from family members, there are not that many people in my life these days that have known me for a long time. It is the downside of having moved around too much: most of my closest friends live very far away and we do not get to just hang out…

Still, the one at the top of the list if there ever was to be one, would be the close friend that I met over a quarter of a century ago. We were walking similar paths and a friendship started. We have been through it all together: marriage, divorce, her pregnancy, depression, all the ups and downs of life so far. I am actually not sure that we have a lot of common interests but at this point, it does not really matter… our love for each other is unconditional! There have been times where we would talk every day of the week but in general, and for most of the time that we have known each other, I would say that we have talked to each other at least once a week. Truth is we have not lived close to one another for over two decades. In our respective darkest times, we knew we could call each other in the middle of the night if needed and there has not been a lot of people in my life with whom this was a true possibility. I was her one and only support throughout her pregnancy; she is the one I can truly confide anything and everything to: my fears, my nightmares, my shame… I put a halt to it a couple of years ago as I went through this phase where I just did not want to spend time talking on the phone anymore, with anyone… but time heals and when I went to Thailand last year, she and I talked every day. She does not necessarily know everything… it does not really matter. I am so through sharing details and information about my entire life with too many people… Yet I know she would jump on a plane and cross that ocean in a heartbeat if I asked her to and so would I if she needed me to…

Recently, we met up in Paris… We had not seen each other in over five years but it really did not matter… She had flown overnight from NYC and I was to meet up with her mid-day in her hotel room. I picked up the key to my name from the lobby but it was not her name showing on the guest book so when I walked into that pitch dark room, I could not help but hope that she was the one resting in the bed. I called out her name and when she responded, I took off coat, hat, scarf, mittens and sweater in a heartbeat and jumped into the bed to hug her and hold her… Within minutes, we were both walking around without our pants: she wanted to go take a shower and I figured I would get comfortable and meditate in the meantime. We did not even have 24 hours to spend together but because of our connection, it did not really matter… It did not feel like we had some major catching up to do… We were just able to enjoy each other’s company, feeling at ease the way I rarely feel with anyone else these days… We could just be ourselves and be with each other…

And in some ways, this relationship helps me feel whole as there is something so comforting in having someone looking at your life and at yourself with so much insight… She has been present for pretty much everything that has guided me here and for those days when I feel like some stories of my past took place in another lifetime, it is nice to be reminded that the person that I was back then and the person that I am today are still, even if at times in the most unexpected ways, one and the same… this is all me, through thick and thin, through joy and sorrow, through successes and failures, at my best and at my worse… and having those people be by my side for the whole ride, knowing that they will still be around at the other side of a dark tunnel, no matter what, is making the whole picture make more sense and be much brighter.

I love you ma puce…


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