So it was you?
My Long Lost Friend?
So it was you?
I had not seen or heard from my friend Fauzia for near enough 7 years. All of a sudden one day in October 2006 I heard her name and wondered about her. This went on everyday and night for a week.
I had been preoccupied with packing. As I was moving out of my home of 15 years this was an arduous task deciding what to throw away and what to keep. I was quite attached to things more for their sentimental value and I am a bit of a hoarder so it was not easy.
In the process of packing, I found old address books. Yes! I keep them to keep in touch with old friends and family and yes I keep them though that is not the way of the world these days with mobile phones becoming mini admin offices. Having learnt a valuable lesson I always back up my contact list with an old fashioned style address book. It happened after losing my mobile phone with all my contacts some of which I can never recover for instance a chance meeting on a flight to Sri Lanka. I sat beside a most amazing woman who mirrored my life on so many levels and who left me thinking ‘you took the words out of my mouth’ whenever she expressed her views. After losing my phone I could never contact her again because that was my only means. So, yes! I still have the reliable address book.
Now I found this address book and called my friend Fauzia’s number thinking how could I have left it so long since our last conversation. She was such a lovely person but after she moved away to Luton we kept in touch for a while and as you do work takes over your life or is it life that takes over and your calls become infrequent, then before you know it, it has been weeks, then months, then years since you last saw or spoke to each other and then you realise you are out of touch. However, with many of my friends, whenever we meet up again, we pick up where we left off. It’s like the time between has not dampened the relationship. If anything, we sit up all night catching up in an attempt to bridge the gap. Offering support or rejoicing as the case may be.
Hearing Fauzia’s name made me realise I’d not heard from her for a good while. So if she was not in trouble then maybe I was being reminded to let her know I was moving and needed to give her my new address. My phone number had not changed in 14 years and I did not suppose hers would’ve. This was not the case though as someone who did not even know her answered the phone. At this point I was quite worried that maybe all was not well with her.
As the removals men arrived at our new home, my new neighbours came out to greet me. Although I had been excited about the move, I was equally worried because I did not know what kind of neighbours I would have. I prayed fervently they would be good people not criminally inclined or aggressive, not antisocial or intrusive, not perverse or manipulative. There is nothing worse that living near terrible neighbours.
My new neighbour, a tall Muslim lady, gave me a hug as she greeted me and welcomed me to the street. She offered me a cup of tea which I thought would be rude to refuse and I was gagging for one. She said she had heard good things about me from people in the neighbourhood and she was glad I was her new neighbour. I replied that I also had prayed for good neighbours. As I had never seen her at all in the neighbourhood, I asked for her name and what do you think her reply was?
Needless-to-say I was gobsmacked and nearly fell to the floor. We have been neighbours since and she has been wonderful. Everything I had prayed for in a neighbour. We exchange gifts during our various religious celebrations and whenever we go on vacation we bring souvenirs back for each other. So the Holy Spirit did it again.
(An excerpt from Sighted But Blind by Marie Jn-Marie )
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