An old friend, DA sent me a text message in the last week. I haven't heard from her in long time.I haven't seen her for almost two years.She lives 8hrs away by car.
DA is one day older than I am .We have known each other since we were 4-5yrs old . No our parents weren't friends and we are not related. She lived in the next street and we went to school together but never in the same classes.
DA was removed from her alcoholic mother and step father's custody at 9yrs old-along with her siblings 7, 4 & 2 . They were in a group home/foster care for 3 yrs till her mother was deemed fit to have them home again. I was able to keep in touch those 'in between years' with the help of my parents and even when she lived away from our area I went to visit her.
We stayed friends through our teens and into adulthood. She moved 6 hrs away .When she got married we went to her wedding (8hrs by car) in large NSW country town. I attended her first child, B's, christening. Then we had less frequent contact because we were busy with our families and the geographical distance.Her husband worked on a farm so holidays were few. We run our own business 6 days a week and we rarely had time off. She had a daughter, two years later I shared news of my pregnancy with her.
Three days after I gave birth to my stillborn daughter she rang out of the blue to say her husband was extremely ill with Lymphoma in a major Sydney Hospital . He had been flown there by air ambulance. His prognosis was poor but treatment was commenced. Sadly he passed away at 38 a few days later.He also had a congenital heart defect, though repaired as an infant it had left his heart weakened. He was sicker than anyone realised. She was a widow at 38 with two small children.
We mourned separate and different , indescribable losses ... I couldn't imagine losing my husband and I grieved with her too.My own personal pain in perspective lessened. Life was so unfair.
She was forced to leave the farm home barely days after his funeral - her husband had been an employee and she had a tough few months. They had so little.I did try to keep in touch but in the months following her husbands death she hit rock bottom . She refused to answer the phone (to anyone) and if her little boy did he said mummy was sleeping even mid afternoon. I was 8hrs away and could do nothing I was battling my own demons and infertility , commencing IVF.
She last came to visit 2 yrs ago (her children were with their grandparents) ... when I was in middle of my egg stimultation cycle that gave us our darling little boys. She was bitter about her lot in life .I agreed. She was on antidepressants by then. She stayed a few days - but in the end I was glad she was going home. She had lots of issues. Her tumultuous upbringing ... her inadequate parents and the system that 'cares' for our children , anger regarding her husband , her family and even other men.
Many times I still attempted to touch base with her but I was busy and so was she.
I wonder what prompted the text message at 9.30pm on a Friday night ...loneliness or a desire to rekindle a once loyal friendship. She doesn't have her email anymore - so snail mail and the phone it is. I still can't imagine how she does it alone.
Today, I will give thanks for my friends near and far - people who helped to shape my life and found time to laugh, love and cry with me. I will ring them too.