That Extraordinary Woman From My Past

Talking with a friend some weeks ago, she told me about a person from my past who happens to be living about 3 hours away from our new location. A person who I greatly admired. A woman who listened to me patiently and answered my adolescent questions of what to do with feelings and dreams and goals all combined. She was a great source of advice and care at a time when I felt lost and found, sad and happy, and a mix of every other feeling in between. (Perhaps not unlike what I have been feeling recently).

We met through the friend I just mentioned -the mom of my best friend from my time in Costa Rica. She was a mom of young kids in her thirties and I wanted to be just like her. I loved her musical taste, the fun activities she organized for her family, the way she had made a home in different countries, her positive energy, her way of sharing and guiding without judgement. I could never get enough time with her and her beautiful family.

We both left Costa Rica and ended up in the States. She was raising a family, I was a college student. From time-to-time I would email her, on occasion she would call me. Then she moved to China and we lost touch completely. I would think of her here and there but did not contact her anymore.

Then, talking with my friend about where exactly is that we moved to, the name of this wonderful woman surfaced into the conversation -You are so close to each other! I knew then that I wanted her back in my life so I asked my friend to connect us.

A week after that, I got a text from this wonderful woman calling me by the unique pet name she used to use. Her words were charged with love and care and the excitement of having found something you did not know you had lost. We spoke on the phone with the kind of happiness that fills a room. I told my husband about the plans to meet up with her and her husband and without a doubt, we put the date on the calendar.

Despite my best efforts, we arrived after them to the agreed-upon location where they were waiting for us. A closed market on a rainy day. As we were approaching the main door to begin the search for them, they appeared before us flashing their wonderful smiles. They were just as I remembered them: a power couple worthy of all praise.

Just like that, we compressed 17 years into a hug that spilled colors all around us. I did not want to let her go. My heart was vibrating nostalgia, happiness and excitement all at once. Her eyes, an ocean of good right before me, both of us holding back our tears. We did not have to say anything. The seeds planted so long ago flourished from our skins and engulfed the 7 of us with the wonderful feeling of being among friends. It could have been a scene from a movie.

What do you talk about in such situations? Our conversation was a mix of remembering the past and circumstances that brought us together; a summary of 17 years of life and adventures grouped almost lustrum by lustrum; the now filled with photos of what had been going on with our families recently; the pillars already in place for the future plans.

As she shared her life experience as a stay-at-home-mom always looking for the next gig, I saw in her a great role model to emulate, once again. The roles have not changed. Her advice still spot on. You can stay home with your kids and still fulfill dreams and wear many hats and continue to grow for yourself and along with your family. I see it in her with her passion for life, in her drive for being all the things she wants to be: a chef, a yogi, a trainer, a Spanish teacher, a therapist, a person constantly growing.

The more she shared her stories, the more my already-present-admiration grew for her. Once I wanted to grow up to be a mom just like her. Now I want to continue to challenge myself and explore all the areas of interest that come by me, just like her. Is it coincidence that she comes back to my life during this critical stage of transition and self-doubt? I’m just glad our paths have crossed once again.

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3 thoughts on “That Extraordinary Woman From My Past

  1. Querida, Selene Lacayo Abou-Maarouf, no en Balde nos conocimos. Gracias a nuestra querida Ines Aguileta-Sharpe. Otra vez, hoy le agradezco, es que ella, se ha convertido sin saberlo en un ángel para mi… Tú y yo, andamos conectadas con temas, y sensibilidades muy similares. Justo, hace unos días escribí unos cuantos párrafos sobre esto de ser madre creativa desde el “silencio del hogar”… En fin, algo de lo que hablas al final de tu post! Gracias. Un gran abrazo.

    • Así me parece! Viste? La semana pasada andaba con el tema ese del regreso a clases y del quedarse una sola como mamá en la casa. Eso de comer el almuerzo sola es como que lo peor, no? Gracias por leerme!!! Va de regreso el abrazo!

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