Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Friend's Too-Soon Departure

After three years up here, we finally had a long-distance friend come and visit. I cautioned our friends against spending travel money (likely $1000 round trip flying) to visit us in Ross River. Sure, the visit would be great: we'd play board games, catch up, eat well, hike and laugh till we cried. But you can't do that all day every day. And there's not much else to do in Ross River.
Our guest room has been put to good use in Whitehorse. We've had friends from the communities stay here for grocery hauls, family from Ottawa come and jump on the bed with Abby and friends stopping in Whitehorse during their travels stay a night or two in our cozy cabin-themed escape. And now, I can finally say, my best friend came up on her own dime to taste a slice of Yukon life with the Nimans.
It was wonderful. Kaylee and I always pick up where we left off, laugh way too long about goofy things and strange accents, never apologize for weird behaviours and tastes, and talk about the deep, sometimes dark secrets we can only share with each other. It's magic, this kind of friendship, and I'm so glad it came into my house. It warmed my heart (and nearly melted it) to see another woman love on my baby so much, you'd almost swear it was her own child. She saw Abby through my loving eyes, and highlighted her victories, development and unique flavour just the way I do. It made me feel a much deeper love for Abby to see her, in turn, through Kaylee's eyes. My little girl certainly is full of sass and performance and it didn't escape us for a second how lucky we are to be in Abby's life. I was made to promise Auntie Kaylee that I would keep talking about her with Abby, and remind her about how much fun she is so that the next visit they too can pick up right where they left off. I really think it's possible to have a best friend 23 years apart.
We went to cafes (and peed laughing at Abby lying on the floor at Chocolate claim, saying hi to strangers as they stepped around her), soaked in hot springs under a full moon, went for riverside walks, prepared and ate delicious food, and welcomed fall the Asian way before being pummeled by winter the next day. (I think it was only funny to Kaylee because she can fly back to tropical weather Ontario tomorrow).
I was sad to leave her at the airport, because it means I'd have to wake up without her to share in an adventure. No one to make pumpkin spice coffee for, no one to convince me a fourth slice of stuffed-crust pizza is a good idea after a fourth glass of wine. But I am not all the way sad, because in a month we'll get to celebrate our quarter-century birthdays in the biggest possible way!
Like I said, it was transformative, uplifting and rejuvenating to have such a good friend come and dance around my house with me for a week.

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