<------ See that fabulous redhead in the picture on my sidebar? That's Heather. She was my very first friend in North Carolina, and for awhile she was my only friend. I ended up marrying and divorcing her cousin, but that's neither here nor there. We met in Ireland in 1994. Know what I remember? At the pubs the men were all over her. And some drunkard looked at me and told me I needed a haircut. I'm pretty sure he thought I was a guy. She and I actually held hands and skipped through portions of the country, we were so happy to be there. And we were in our 20s.
There's a photo of her that I have where she's walking through a graveyard and her hair is blowing in the wind and it's just earth shattering. That photo is tucked into an album which is itself tucked away though. This one will have to do.
Heather loved to cook and I loved to cook, so we bonded over food. She invited me to dinner at her apartment and I was stunned and envious that someone even younger than I could have so much on her own. But she had an education and a good job, and that made all the difference in the world back then.
My first Christmas here we spent together, eating junk and watching a movie. We went to Waffle House. If you don't know Waffle House I suggest you check it out, if even only once.
Life interfered, as it almost always does. We spent less time together. I remember though that when she met her totally awesome husband I marveled that you could meet someone on the internet and fall in love. Ha ha. Ha.
Her cousin and I did not end up divorcing amicably, so I figured that was that. There was also my horror at being unable to attend their grandmother's funeral, as I had a raging case of mono at the time. I adored their grandmother, and I was heartbroken.
Why am I writing about Heather today? Yesterday I was going through my grandmother's recipe box, trying to find something I had written down so I could pass it to a new friend, and I came upon a folded sheet of paper. I unfolded it and it was an email from Heather containing a recipe for German potato salad. I looked at it and wondered how she was doing.
Today I remembered to check my gmail for a change. Heather had emailed me. Yesterday.
Our paths shift and meander through life and we never know where we'll end up. People come and go, but I like to think that the folks who have been the most influential and special are always connected by even the most fragile thread.
I'm really looking forward to seeing her again.