A Blanket Story

Two little girls, one with blonde hair, one with brown, dressed as angels for the Nativity Play, sitting on the floor of Mrs Reid’s classroom twenty one years ago. “Choose a partner everyone!” Easy choice for the two girls.

Fast forward through many years of school, sleepovers, trips to the cinema, museums, waterfights, secrets and whispers, sharing nail polish and magazines, more school, Harry Potter discussions and obsessions, GCSEs and revision – Prom! Results, finally, start college, English Language (most fun ever <3) chips and beans in the cafe, more results, working together in the Co-op … I was never the Best Friend but we were damn good friends and when you stop and think, twenty one years is a long time to have known someone. The friend ship drifted apart when I went to uni because I didn’t feel like we had much in common anymore and I didn’t really like myself either. I needed to change and to grow up and at the time I felt like I could only do this if I moved away to where nobody knew me (uni provided this) and become someone who I liked.

Fast forward again, from 2005 to a few weeks ago. This post specifically. You see, my friend, who I hadn’t seen or spoken to for six years had a baby, a little boy, in May. It shook me totally as I realised that it was SIX YEARS that I hadn’t seen or spoken to her for. I thought a great deal about this and about how it had been the right decision for me at the time to head off on my own (I’m not in contact with anyone I went to school with), but in hindsight perhaps I had been missing out on a great friendship and really, I did miss her. In Harry Potter terms, I don’t think we’ve even discussed it since Goblet of Fire! And that’s huge.

Another flashback: in school, sat at my desk waiting for afternoon registration. My friend comes in, having been on the internet in the library. “The next Harry Potter book is going to be called “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” she said. “GOBLET???? That’s not the right sound for a Harry Potter book!” heh.

In those six years, I’ve graduated from uni, got married, and she has had a baby. A baby! You know, sometimes I get on with my own life without really considering that time also moves for other people.

But how do you get back in contact after being away for six years? And while it was me that drifted off up North and never came back, I do distinctly remember that she sent me a Christmas card in 2006ish with her mobile number in it. If I did get back in contact, would she even want me to?

So what I did, is made a little blanket for her little boy, and wrote a card saying that I was so happy for her, congratulations, and that I was sorry for losing contact and that it felt like the right thing at the time but in hindsight I definitely regretted it. I also mentioned that I hoped her parents still lived at the same address, because that’s where I was posting the blanket.

Then I finally got up the courage to send the blanket and after that I sat and was nervous for a long time (well, a few weeks).

Guess what?

She got the blanket, she loves the blanket, she wrote back!

Aww.

I’m now in the process of writing a mega marathon letter back to her (how to squeeze in six years of Heather into an envelope). It’s not quite “eighteen pages, FRONT AND BACK” but it’s getting that way.

Realisations I have made whilst writing this letter:

1. It’s hard to hold a pen with an infected finger but now that’s gone I’m well away

2. It’s difficult to write and blog since writing a letter takes up all of my writing ability I have for the week

3. My handwriting is atrocious and I have no idea how I would cope now if I had to handwrite something like an exam. I’m a little shocked that I’ve become so reliant on typing!

4. It’s good to send things through the post. I love getting post and I like to send things to surprise other people too. Some things feel like they need more than an email or a facebook message.

5. Writing to my friend again feels a bit like coming home, but in a good, travelled, “grown up” way. I’m glad I sent it :-)

Edit (Friday 10pm) Thank you so much for your kind comments, I felt very teary yet happy while reading them. thank you. I’ve finished my letter now, it’s 5 pages of A4. Eep.

xxx

22 thoughts on “A Blanket Story

  1. Jennifer says:

    Heather, what a lovely and inspiring story of friendship. I know just how it feels to have lost touch with someone who was so dear from childhood. Your story really has me thinking…. and tearing up a little, too! Hope you have a super weekend!

  2. Wendy says:

    Heather, you are wise beyond your years. How true that we forget that we are not the only ones experiencing the passage of time. In our minds the long ago friends remain just the way we saw them last. Your old chum had probably thought of you many times through the years, and I am sure that she was thrilled to hear from you and get the beautiful blanket. And since you feel so good about what you did, you can be assured it was the right thing.

  3. I LOVE this post! I feel all excited for you! How gorgeous. And even better that you guys are writing proper letters to each other rather than facebook.

    My good friend from Uni and I drifted and last year made friends through FB again. I flurry of emails went to and fro and then….drift. She sent a “i’m rushed off my feet will email properly soon” she didn’t so i emailed her another friendly chatty one after a few weeks…nothing. It still smarts a bit but I’m glad that I’m at an age (maturity?) where I can see that she has just got a busy and full life now and I am part or her good memories from days of old and that’s going to have to be good enough,

    So I think it’s great that you are writing letters, I doubt you’ll drift again. You are reweaving the threads of your friendship.

    xxx

  4. Heather ~ what a lovely story ~ and a rather lovely blanket too! I couldn’t tell you the last time that I sat down and actually wrote a letter but have to admit that it is always such a pleasure to receive a handwritten note through the post. I’m sure you and your friend will have many years of friendship to come. Enjoy your weekend ~ Jackie :O)x

  5. That’s fantastic Heather I hope that you are both able to continue your friendship! And what a lovely way to start by sending the gorgeous blanket!

    Quite spooky really as a very good friend of mine found me on Facebook yesterday. We lost touch when I went off to uni too although I still lived at home, not sure how or why it happened now…anyway after 18 years, we are back in touch. Very stange seeing the face of a 36 year old when I remember her as 18!!

  6. Nanita says:

    Aww such a lovely blanket and such a lovely story! Your friend must have been absolutely thrilled! I lost contact with my best friend from highschool when I went away to Uni (I even managed to make it as far away as Russia, of all places!) but now, after 12 years, we took up our friendship again, and it does feel a bit like coming home… I hope you can meet up and chat and giggle about the ‘lost’ years… Have a lovely weekend! xxxx

  7. What a fab story Heather, so glad you are back in touch with your friend, beautiful blanket too. I miss proper post (actual handwritten envelopes that do not contain bills or forms :D)
    C
    xx

  8. Oooh we have things to talk about lady – can very muchly relate to this story, I don’t speak to anyone I went to school with either.

    Really lovely that you’ve managed to reconnect.

    And also two thumbs up for post, I LOVE a bit of post.

  9. I think that’s a wonderful story. You’re right, receiving things in the post is such a good thing and most people are happy to hear from people from the past. I’m glad it’s working out.

  10. Well done Heather, I hope that you can catch up in person very soon and I bet you will be chatting as if you had only just seen her a week ago. I had a friend from the age of around 11, we went thru school together, we married boys who were good mates, we both got divorced, kept in touch, then not for many years. One day I received a phone call out of the blue, it was my friend and I was so excited. We caught up and continued on from where we had left off many years before, I helped her move out of her marital home and settle into her own little place, she relied on me quite a bit, then she met a new man and I haven’t seen her since. So it goes, my brother did remind me that she was a selfish girl when we were young and she hasn’t changed, but I’m glad we had that time together.
    x Sandi
    Oh it is Spring here and the sun is shining and warm, I hope your Autumn will be kind to you.

  11. That is a really moving story – I feel quite emotional now! I have been reading your blog for a while but haven’t commented before but wanted to after reading this. I’m so glad she liked the blanket and all your hard work was worthwhile. I’m not in touch with anyone I went to school with either and whilst that is really sad I don’t think I feel good enough about myself at the moment to get back in touch. Maybe I will in future. I’m so glad it worked out for you :o)

  12. What a lovely thing to do, I bet she was thrilled when the parcel arrived. I lost touch with my best friend in our late teens & got back in contact via FB last year. We probably wont ever be as close as we were, but its so nice to have her in my life again.xx

  13. Siobhan says:

    The first thought that came to mind was how profound you are. Then I thought it would sound pompous to say that! However, the first comment (from Wendy) I have just seen says that you are wise beyond your years. I totally agree so am going to stick with what I actually thought while reading your post. I hope it all works out for you and your friend. Friendships often move on when we start to have different lives to one another and usually we don’t get them back. Sometimes you do wonder though and would like to get in touch again but don’t know how, so it’s really lovely you are able to, as I am sure 21 years counts for a lot. I totally agree that re-inventing ourselves is necessary – sometimes people see us in ways that we don’t want and we get stuck in a rut. Letters are lovely to get and also to write. Years ago now I had a friend who lived miles away (before internet) and it was so lovely to get a letter. Mind you I like emails too.

    Lovely blanket too, I bet she was surprised to get that parcel! What a lovely gesture and a perfect way to breach the silence there has been between you.

  14. Victoria says:

    what a lovely post! I’m so glad the blanket got there. I, just yesterday, went to see my oldest friends, there’s nothing like it.

  15. Sarah says:

    Dear Heather you made the first move to get in touch with your childhood friend. What a lovely way to do it. I think that you would be a very special friend to have indeed. I have 2 friends from childhood and we have kept in touch on and off during the intervening years,
    and when we meet up the years slip away. xxx

  16. I am glad you got back in touch with your friend, I hadn’t seen my oldest friend for quite a few years, we are facebook friends now, as we have both gone our separate ways

  17. What a lovely post Heather, I missed a few over the last week as I haven’t been popping in anywhere :O(
    Love the blanket and how awesome that you are back in contact with your friend. It’s nice to hear someone reflecting on themselves so honestly, it is so easy to brush our actions away without really looking at the truth but the truth really does free us. I hope you stay in contact for a long time and I just know she will be adoring such a lovely gift
    XXXXX

  18. What a lovely post Heather, I missed a few over the last week as I haven\’t been popping in anywhere :O(
    Love the blanket and how awesome that you are back in contact with your friend. It\’s nice to hear someone reflecting on themselves so honestly, it is so easy to brush our actions away without really looking at the truth but the truth really does free us. I hope you stay in contact for a long time and I just know she will be adoring such a lovely gift
    XXXXX

  19. Tammy Drouillard-Jozwiak says:

    Your Blog brightens my day! Thanks for being so kind & sharing with us, you’re a beautiful person! `~sMiLe~’

  20. A great blanket and a lovely story. I think it was a brave thing to do. Glad you’ve got back in touch with an old friend. Hope it’s the start to the next stage of a long friendship.
    Kier x

  21. What a lovely thing to d for an old friend Heather, and a great way of reconnecting. The blanket is beautiful. And i totally get the ‘Friends’ reference! ;) K xx

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