When I was young, my family moved a lot. And I mean a lot. They moved between cities and around the city. I went to 3 different schools in grade one. After that, I generally spent about a year at a school before we moved. When I was 9, we moved to Cranbrook from Prince George and we lived there for 3 years, even in the same house (425 - 21st Ave South). Around the block was a girl my age. I met her right away and we became fast friends. I moved away when I was 12 and I have actually never been back to Cranbrook since.
A couple of days ago on facebook, someone contacted me asking me if I was the Andrea who lived in Cranbrook so long ago. It was her. Allison.
Connecting with her has been like stripping layers of dull paint off of myself to the original vibrant hues. We had an intense friendship. We were so similar in our interests. Even at the age of 10 and 11, we used to play with little plastic animals and dinosaurs, creating elaborate kingdoms. We had invisible pet lions - hers was Elsa and mine was Aslan. We created cities and invented all the families that lived in the cities - drawing them and naming them and writing about them. We spent hours looking through her telescope and my dad's hunting binoculars at the moon and stars. We rode bikes together and gave them names and pretended they were horses (mine was Mary). We laid out in the adjoining fields, setting up traps around gopher holes to try to catch gophers. (we never even saw a gopher but that didn't stop us from trying to catch them - there were gopher holes, after all, so there had to be gophers somewhere!). We walked on St Mary's creek in the winter until each of us fell through the ice. We watched Planet of the Apes and the Six Million Dollar Man together (at her house, we didn't have a TV). We had plans to live together when we left home with many dogs, cats and fish while we went to University.
I found myself in my friendship with her. I had a friend who reflected me to myself for the first time - really reflected me - my whole self. And that is who I have been ever since - that self I discovered with her. And she has always been with me. I live here with my dog and 3 cats (and a husband who is allergic to cats, how did I pull that off?) and 8 chickens. When I look at the moon and stars with my children, I remember her. She was so significant in my life, it is such a treat to find her!
6 hours ago