Sunday, October 11, 2009

For a Dear Old Friend...and Niece

I had many roommates in college, but only one ended up being my sister-in-law. A great person, she also had a great dog and followed that with great kids. Married to my then husband's older brother, her marriage has worked out, mine did not.

We lost touch after that, and many years went by. In a miserable marriage that was happy in the beginning (and I choose to remember the good years), and turned abusive in the end - it ended many years ago. Today I see it as the best thing that ever happened to me. I am now with the man I should have been with in the first place. In hindsight, back then we were too young, too different, and were two people that never should have been married that were married to each other. I still recall my brother saying before the wedding that "you are too young and he is a small town boy, and you are not a small town girl." Why we do things in our youth is hard to understand when we get older.

As a writer, you live things twice, and even the bad things can be good when you live through them and learn from them. That past seems like a different lifetime and I am a very different person now.

Through the whole process, contact was lost with my former sister-in-law, Cindy, and her daughter, Lindsey - who I adored and always considered to be my niece. I thought the world of both of them and thought of them often through the years.

When I went on to Facebook awhile back I located another former roommate and found out she had passed away from cancer. I was too late. I did end up talking with her mother and that was pretty special, but I'll never be able to talk to her again. I didn't want that to happen again. So, I dug around. And dug around some more. With a very common name, I just didn't know how I would find Cindy and Lindsey. I knew what state they were in and was hoping that remained the same.

I was blessed a few weeks ago to find them both. And I finally had a conversation with Cindy two days ago. Turns out she has been through some ordeals, just as I have. Turns out Lindsey has too, and is now a grown woman. I wish I had found them sooner - but am grateful I have found them now.

Life is short and it goes by too fast. People you think of, and who remain in your thoughts over the years, are there for a reason. I don't believe in coincidence and believe every encounter, every acquaintance, and every loved one in your life is not by chance. We often don't know why, but it's true. All the time I was concerned of digging up old wounds, but found they were long buried and even forgotten. And it really didn't even come up when we finally talked.

We talked about us, about wonderful memories, about current struggles. But mostly, we reconnected. I've had many blessings in my life, and many things to write about. But, reconnecting with someone as dear as Cindy and Lindsey are at the top of the list. And for that, I am not only grateful, but especially glad I am a writer. Because, yes, writers do live things twice - and some things you're blessed to live twice are just that much more sweet when they happen.

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