Have you ever lost touch with a friend, and wondered what ever happened to them, how things were going for them and their life?
This is quite a long story, so settle down, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin!
A long time ago, back in about 1980, while we were on a family camping holiday in the northern Italian lakes, I met a german girl in the play park. She was singing at the top of her voice in English “My bonnie lies over the ocean…..” It was Anja.
For the week or so that we were both at that campsite we became fast friends. Her English was excellent, my German being non-existent as I had opted to do Home Economics and Art at school instead of learning another language! Our time together on the campsite ended after one night of severe storms and flooding – and we awoke to a new “river” flowing through the campsite into the lake, and directly through our trailer tent. My parents made the decision to pack up our sodden tent, and drive south to Venice, so with quick goodbyes and exchanging addresses we said goodbye to our new friends.
On returning to Ireland, it was lovely to receive a letter from Anja, and our friendship continued. We started visiting each other, and on a number of occasions Anja came along to my school for a week or so. Even when I started working in the bank, and Anja was at university our friendship continued.
In June 1992 (just over 19 years ago) Anja was a bridesmaid at my wedding. It was fun trying to get her dress made my by aunt as she was only able to arrive a few days before the wedding, but it was lovely to have her as part of our wedding day.
After we married we kept in touch, and had a couple of holidays together, but we were unable to attend her wedding. As kids came along for both of us our letters and cards became more infrequent, and eventually stopped.
Last November, Anja was really on my mind, and although I assumed she had moved from the address I had for her, I thought I would try to send a Christmas card to her parents house, in the hope she might receive it.
Early this year I received an email from Anja, and we both were able to catch up on what had been happening in our lives since. I now worked from home on my jewellery business, with 3 kids, and Anja was at home with her 2 kids.
Once we had planned our house-swap for this summer to France, I looked on Google Earth to see that we would be about 4 hours drive from where Anja and her family now live in Germany, and suggested maybe we could try to drive to some middle point and meet up. Anja however suggested that she and her family could come and spend a weekend at an hotel near our home exchange house in Laon, so we could have more time together.
In the end it took them FIVE hours to get to us, and I was so thankful that they came. It was lovely to see Anja and her husband again, and to finallly meet her two children.
Firstly Anja has not changed ONE BIT! I would share some of our childhood photos together, or from my wedding, but I am up at the cottage and all photos are at home. Please believe me – she really hasn’t changed.
We showed them around the medieval town of Laon, and had lunch together in probably the coldest, wettest day of our holiday!
We spend the afternoon at our exchange home,playing table tennis, Dobble and draughts.
In the evening went out for dinner to a local pizza restaurant – perhaps appropriate as we originally met in Italy!
So there you go, friends reunited!
Have you ever lost touch with someone but managed to reconnect with them years later?
Is there someone you still wonder what ever happened to them?
You know the usual – please share.