Alicia and I went to high school together. In fact, we can’t really recall how we met. We think it was year seven Maths.
We have been friends ever since. It hasn’t been a ‘normal’ friendship in our adult years because a few years after school she moved to the other side of the world. Finland. But, whenever I needed her she was there.
In 2010 she visited with her gorgeous three month old daughter. It was when a volcano erupted and we got to spend unexpected time together as their flight was delayed home for a few weeks. I was heavily pregnant with my second child and I remember those days fondly. Me with my big belly and Alicia and I playing peek a boo and admiring her baby as we drank copious amounts of tea.
Late 2011 she visited again. This time our visit was filled with tears. I had recently delivered my extremely premature twins and then we lost Charlize.
Alicia met me at the main entrance of the hospital and her husband occupied their two year old daughter so we had some time to ourselves. The relief at seeing my best friend, to hug her, to sob on her shoulder, I don’t think I have the words to really describe that moment.
I was so proud to take Alicia into the NICU and introduce her to our little Lucia. I have this beautiful photo of Alicia standing at the humidicrib with me and both of us are admiring Lucia.
At the end of that visit, which wasn’t long enough, Alicia told me she was expecting her second child. I was delighted for her.
Throughout the months that followed Lucia’s long journey home, Alicia emailed me regularly. She also posted me beautiful hand written letters and packages of beautiful clothes she had purchased for the twins.
I don’t think she realises how much those things kept me standing. I don’t think she realises how any communication with her brings me immense joy. A smile spreads over my face immediately.
That was the last time we saw each other.
We have emailed, texted, FaceTimed, you name it we’ve done it to stay in touch as the years went on.
Last week I could hardly contain my excitement when she arrived. I am also proud to say that neither one of us cried once. We talked and laughed so much I have lost my voice.
We got the pleasure of spending a whole week with my best friend and her family. The joy at seeing our children play together, laugh together and learn each others cultures was delightful and fascinating.
We realised both our engineer husbands are as competitive as each other. Watching them play a game of Checkers was hilarious. The intensity and concentration was next level.
We all enjoyed each others company so much. One night I snuck out to have a shower and came back to find all our children in one room, tucked in next to each other and Alicia sitting on a chair reading them a bedtime story.
Another night we put the children to bed early and then stayed up late playing board games and laughing so much it hurt.
Today we had to say goodbye. I felt sad last night going to bed knowing in the morning it could be years before we see each other again.
I watched as Alicia cuddled and whispered beautiful words to each of my children before they headed off to school. I may have had a dripping eye at that point.
Finally the time came to say goodbye and we didn’t want to let each other go.
Until the next time, I miss you terribly already!