Thank you for being such lovely friends. Recently I spent too long dwelling on residual hurt from twenty-plus years ago. Instead, what I should have been doing is thinking of the twenty-two years since I met you two. The twenty-two years of love and laughter, and pain and tears, and joy, idiocy, comfort, in-jokes and gin.
I'm so glad, Tigger, that you manage to come and stay during half-terms, bringing your two deranged little tiggers with you. I'm so glad that, despite being older, your little tiggers play with my LittleBear so gently and kindly. I'm so glad that we can leave them happily playing together in another room while we natter away as though we still lived in each other's pockets as we did at University.
And Piglet, I am blessed that you and your little piglets still live only a few miles away, and that GirlPiglet and LittleBear are more or less mastering giving each other a cuddle that doesn't turn into a bout of wrestling every time they hurl themselves upon each other with such gusto one of them topples backwards.
Instead of thinking about the cutting words from a girl I haven't seen in sixteen years, I should have been thinking about the phone calls that kept me going as I swam through the darkness of post natal depression. I should have remembered how both of you always had time to talk to me through my tears as LittleBear napped and I wondered how I would get through the next feed, the next hour, the next day, the next week. Neither of you ever told me you were busy, or didn't have time, despite your own children, your own jobs, your own homes, your own problems. You are the friends who have shown me true friendship.
Instead of wondering what I did wrong, and why I was rejected, I should have been wondering what I did right to have not just one, but two, fantastic, loving, giving, sharing friends. Wondering how I have been lucky enough to form friendships that don't need us to see each other every day, or every week, or every month, friendships that are ever-present no matter how many months may go by in between seeing each other. Friendships that provide days of joy and laughter when we are all together, herding our small menagerie around the botanical gardens, trying to stop them climbing into frozen ponds, falling out of trees, trampling on precious alpine plants or escaping onto the main road.
It turns out there are a lot of unspoken thoughts in my head, and that they're not all negative. And while it may be therapeutic to get the negativity out of my head and into actual words, it's much more affirming to get the positive out as well, not just to remind myself how lucky I am to have such good friends, but also to make sure you know. You are the most incredible friends a Bear could have. Thank you.