Have you ever renewed your friendship with people after years and years of 'losing' them? That's exactly what I've been doing these past several weeks.
First, there is Irene. She read about my book launch in the paper and looked for me on Facebook. Through her I reconnected with her sister, Victoria, too.
Stella I found when I was scrolling down the comments of a post people left on the Facebook page of a friend of a friend. I sent her a message: Are you the Stella who used to be a boarder at St. Joseph's?
Yes, she replied.
About a week ago, Stella told me that a friend who had also been a boarder, was here to see her parents. Stella asked: would you like to meet Vera before she goes back to UK? I suggested she invited Irene, too. And today we all met. Except for Irene who I now meet every week, it was the first time I set eyes on Stella and Vera in 42 years!
At the mall where we had agreed to meet, I found Irene first. She called Stella on her cell phone. They were already there standing nearby, Stella said. I saw this group of ladies and guessed that the one who was just putting away her phone must be Stella.
I approached her. Stella?
I'd never have recognised her! Of course, the last time we met she was just a little kid. That was a life time ago, people!
Vera looked exactly the same she did as a child! Same face. Same big smile. Same small size! She had come with a sister who is based in USA. Stella came with a daughter and a young grandson. Irene brought along her daughter.
We all trooped into a Japanese restaurant. And got somewhat sentimental and nostalgic reminicing the good old days. So many memories. So many girls we couldn't recall all their names. And nuns. And Rev Fathers Smit and Van Gastel.
Where are all the girls? Rufina entered the Carmelite, the only one of us girls to become a nun. Diana is in Canada; Annie in USA. Flora I have met recently. Where are all the others? The two Angelas, Angeline, Ah Yin, Adeline, Anna, Anne, Berta, Julia, Margaret, Margaret Mary, Mary Lansing, Lucy, the two Theresas, Katie, Justina G, Nora?
We must do this again, we said. Next time we'll have a bigger group.
When is next time? Will there be a next time for me?
(Pic L - R: Vera, Stella, Tina, Irene. Note my book on the table!)