I’m off to London for a special reason: to re-unite and spend Christmas with my childhood friends, Kathy and Claire. Claire and Kathy. We haven’t seen one another in close to thirty years. I’m still trying to figure out how we lost touch with each other.
They’re sisters. As children, they were best friends with me and my sister. They were also our next door neighbours. For the first decade of our lives, we four grew up together, playing on the lawns and in the backyards of our pleasant Toronto suburb. My parents were friends with their parents, all four of them English. Then they moved back to England. But we stayed in touch and continued to see them. And then, sometime in the early 1990s, we sort of lost the thread, all of us caught up in our separate life paths and pursuits.
But we found each other again, in August of this year. (The truth is, I had been searching for them for quite a few years.) And I was thinking: there’s something deeper and richer about old friends. Oh sure, we make new friends all the time. But the friends I’ve made here in France know nothing about my past life, my life in Canada. They only know the “French” Juliet. But Kathy and Claire know my childhood years because they shared it. They knew my family. I don’t have to show them my childhood home on Google Map, the house I lived in for the first twenty years of my life, because they were there, right next door.
Below is a photo of me celebrating my seventh birthday. You can see the heaps of snow and the Xmas tree in the background. You can also see the top of Claire’s head at the bottom front of the photo.
Happy Christmas, everyone! May your holidays be merry and bright.