Over twenty years ago I met a young woman at work. She was hired on as a student assistant and worked among a group of crazy but passionate professionals. Susete was just 16 at the time. Little did I know that she would become my friend and remain in my life to this day. Back then I was pregnant with my second child, a boy named Nicolas. Susete would eventually travel with me to watch this child while I did some consulting work in Arizona. She proved over and over that she is intelligent as well as loving and loyal. A few years later, she would meet another young woman, Marina (a new hire at the time) and they would become best friends.
Tonight they drove to my house so that I could join in celebrating Susete’s birthday albeit, belatedly.
As I listened to their familiar and joyful banter, and watched as they regarded each other lovingly and selflessly I realized that they were blessing me with something I didn’t realize I valued until that very minute. They included me as part of their intimate kinship. In but a single moment they filled my heart with sentimentality and a rush of reminiscence of the times I visited older friends and relatives. Only now I am the older friend that is being visited.
I cannot properly express to you how this touched my heart to no end. I think I finally understand why my mom and dad, in laws, aunts and uncles ask when I will visit. I finally understand the meaning behind a visitation. I have always understood the love attached to the sharing of a special occasion with someone. But to bring that occasion to me so that I could be part of their celebration was especially heart warming.
I think that tonight was some sort of transition or shift for me and I don’t think I have completely finished thinking about it yet. I think it may be in part because both of these women are so accomplished and successful. I no longer see them as girls I mentored, but as friends who choose to be mine for no other reason than because that is what they choose.
Maybe I’m just getting old and appreciate the simple things in life more now. I don’t know, I just feel blessed.
Happy birthday Susete! And thank you both for being my friend.