Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Remember Me

"Okay," she laughs.  "Are you ready?"

I nod.

"You are going to live in a mansion, drive a tractor, marry Micheal Jackson, and have seven kids."  We look up from the paper and erupt in giggles.  I roll back onto the cool concrete and catch my breath.

"Want me to do yours again?" I ask.

"No, let's go play with your Barbies." She responds and we run across the driveway and in my front door.

I have lots of memories of her.  Her grandparents were my neighbors.  Her cousins lived across the street.  We didn't go to the same school.  We lived in different states.  I can't remember ever meeting her parents.  But we used to fantasize about going to college together and being in each other's weddings and living next door to each other and our kids playing together, just like us.

That was probably 25 years ago.  We moved away, and I don't think I ever saw her again but she left a mark on my heart.  I remember our summers together - exploring the woods, picking berries from my grandmother's bushes, dancing in my front yard, kickball in the street.

Her cousin friended me on Facebook.  Immediately I thought of her.  Wondered where she might be.  Thought about what she might have done with her life.  Was she married?  Did she have kids?  Does she ever return to her grandparents' house and remember those long afternoons?

And then...a picture of a little girl on her Facebook page.  One that looks just like her with long dark hair and a big, bright smile.  It is the little girl I remember, the one that will always be in my mind because that's how I saw her last.  The grown woman in the other pictures seems distant - not necessarily the same girl.  But am I?

Would she recognize me?  Would she accept a friend request?  Even the anonymity of the online world doesn't provide the cover I need to be brave.

I click the message box and cautiously type, "Hi, do you remember me?"
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