I wish you could have met my friend, she was funny and bright and brave and sometimes got she us both into trouble. I don’t remember meeting her, we knew each other as babies, she was always there.
As kids we played crazy games, her Mum would let us take all the cushions off the sofa to make dens, and she never minded us making a mess. She didn’t even shout at us when we smashed her display cabinet in a particularly energetic game of twizzing on a rainy day. We laughed all day long, my friend and I.
We started to grow up and still remained friends. Teen years were full of pop music, she only loved Elvis, and fashion. My friend would never wear a skirt because she thought she had knobbly knees and her legs were too skinny! Back in the day that was actually a thing, being too skinny. We met boys, often spending time in couples, and again her sense of humour and practical jokes made for a fun time.
Later we grew up, she went away to work in Europe, I stayed home, I had babies, she never did. She married, in her typical style her wedding had little planning, it was a ‘just let’s do it next week’ kind of wedding, which saw our Mums, her sisters and I baking and cooking up a storm days before the reception.
She was happy. I was happy. We saw each other less frequently. I visited her Mum often, she had helped me with my babies, and the grief of losing my own Mum. The world moved on and so did we.
Then one day my friend was not here anymore. Gone long before her time, and suddenly, it took us all by surprise. Her Mum, who by now had lost three children, remained brave and kind. Her sisters, nieces and nephews, and her husband, all family to me, well we all managed.
I wish you had known my friend, and then you would understand how she is still in my thoughts, years after losing her, and why on every 4th November I wish her a Happy Birthday.