Finish this sentence: “My Closest Friend is …”
My closest friend is too far away. She’s an hour away and, although that doesn’t seem all that far, it may as well be the other side of the world to me.
She started out as my neighbour. Not one of those neighbours that you wave at as you drive past, but the one that is there for you when the world starts to fall apart, or you need a tea bag for a much needed cup of tea.
We first met when I went searching for my children who were AWOL in our street. It turns out they were visiting the house across the road with the new kitten, Cate’s house. Cate and her family had just emigrated from South Africa and were horrified by these children that kept turning up their front door unaccompanied. That would never have happened in Johannesburg. We introduced ourselves and had a quick chat. She had two small children and no family, so I decided to be a good neighbour and invite her over for coffee. So began an amazing friendship.
We’ve been there for each other through an unexpected pregnancy, children starting school, husbands losing and changing jobs, emergency babysitting, childhood illnesses, death of a parent, birthday parties and BBQs.
But it’s the little things that have mattered most; phone calls when the kids are driving us to the edge of insanity, saving dinner with a packet of rice or a tin of tuna, a shoulder to cry on when things go pear-shaped.
When Cate told me that they were looking for a house to buy, I was so happy for them. They had come to a new country and worked hard to establish themselves here and now they were going to be enjoying the results. I’ll admit though, that a small part of me was sad and mad. I didn’t want her to go. I freely admit that that was a very selfish attitude, but that was the way I felt.
Cate’s been in her new home for nearly two years and I miss having her so close every single day.