I was at work last week feeling the tiredness of “It’s been 10 minutes to 5 for the last hour!” when a woman came in. That’s not unusual; I work at a non-profit that’s open to the public. But she was carrying an envelope. She looked too business-like to shop. And she asked if Tammy or Terry S—. still works here. *She mispronounced “S—.” but it was recognizable as my maiden name, and Tammy or Terry could be my sister. I thought she was selling something so I told her my sister volunteers often but was not present and could I give her a message? She said, “I have some pictures for her.” Then she told me her name was Linda F—.
I remembered her instantly: she was my best friend when we were 3 years old—a person can change a lot in 50 some years, but I remembered her name! I remembered her big brothers, and the house I lived in! And I remember playing on the porch and in the yard with her! We moved during the summer these pictures were taken.
My twin brothers were born the winter before this picture. I remember my mother trying to feed two hungry babies at the same time. She propped me up with pillows on the davenport holding one baby and trying to administer a bottle, while she took care of the other. I told her that there were just too many babies and she should give one away! I remember wanting to have a bottle of my own! Hey! I was barely 3!
Best of all, Linda gave me a picture of my parents and me together looking happy in the sunshine. While my mother was still able, we talked about the old days and she was very surprised at how much detail I could recall.
She said that her family came to visit us when we were in grade-school, but I didn’t remember. Apparently my mother sent her family Christmas newsletters for many years and that is how she knew about the place I work. She knows someone who shops at our store and that triggered her memory; she was in town on other business and remembered the old pictures she had.
I was so surprised that I didn’t ask Linda much about where she lives, what her life’s been like, how to reach her… But I’m so grateful that she went to the effort of finding me to give me this gift!
*all names have been changed/disguised.
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