Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, I had a best friend. We were friends so close they called us Shadowtwins – so close we shared the same shadow. We shared everything. We finished each others sentences. We could read each others minds. Even 400 miles apart we both got the same illness at the same time. People often mixed us up, thought we were really sisters, or even twins. I introduced her to her husband. She introduced me to mine. We both had three kids. In fact, our first born kids were only a month apart.
There were some differences though. There were some things she loved that I hated. And some things I loved that she hated. It wasn’t uncommon for people to mix that up. She loved patchouli . I hated it. She loved The Tick, I couldn’t stand the show. One year for Christmas my husband bought me a tiny desktop Foosball game. That was her favorite – I couldn’t stand it. But I had to laugh because it happened so much.
Sadly, that friendship came to a very bad end, with bitterness and unforgiving words. It was like losing a piece of myself. It was almost like a divorce. For years I felt like there was a hole. I even thought about trying to repair the friendship from time to time. But time has marched on and with it – things fade. I never truly forgot the memories – but like many relationships that end badly, the bad memories fade and the good ones remain.
So tonight, more than ten years after the sad ending, my husband came home with a treat. Ice cream. He wanted to do something nice for me. As he pulled it out of the bag, I was given pause. He had bought me Heavenly Hash. Her favorite – not mine. I can’t stand Heavenly Hash ice cream. But she loved it. That hasn’t happened for many years. In fact, there are very few people left in my life that had any connection to both families. Most of the people in my life haven even heard of her, let alone know her. It made me stop and think about the years gone by, the memories, the ghosts. Because honestly, that’s pretty much what they have become. Ghosts.
Maybe tonight I’ll get me a bowl of that ice cream. Sit down with some old photo albums and flip through them. It doesn’t hurt to do that now. I can now look at them and really laugh at the memories. The longing to go back is gone. The desire to fix the bridge is gone. Even the wondering what they are doing is gone. I now hope they have a good life, hope that life has treated them well. These ghosts no longer haunt me. Instead, they show up and sit down next to me with a bowl of ice cream and remind me of a time in my past that helped make me who I am today.