This year for Easter (and my birthday,) Juliette and I decided to head to Ottawa to visit Sharlene and her children. We hadn’t seen Sharlene in about nine years, so the visit was long overdue.
For those of you who do not know her, Sharlene and I have known each other for nearly twenty years. We met at Bon Echo and quickly became good friends and regular climbing partners. A few years after I left the military, Sharlene and her husband Bob moved to Edmonton and our friendship continued with just the odd email and Facebook message. Despite that, I still consider Sharlene to be one of my closest friends and missed her presence in my life.
Sharlene moved back to their place in Quebec recently, so it was time to rekindle our friendship. Bob and her own a beautiful cottage on the Gatineau river about 20 minutes outside of Ottawa. It is a beautiful home in a beautiful location and it was a lovely place to spend the weekend.
Sharlene has three children, Karina, Bjorn and Kieran. We had only met Karina just after she was born, but I felt like I knew all of them after watching them grow up through their pictures online. It was a bit weird meeting them all and feeling like I knew them even though they didn’t know me.
In all it was a beautiful weekend. It was great to finally get to know the kids and to see Sharlene again. If anything, I wish it wasn’t so short and that I had more of a chance to catch up with Sharlene. Hopefully we will get another chance to do that soon.
On our way back home, I decided to see another person that I haven’t seen in about twenty five years. While I was growing up, my mom’s long-time boyfriend was John Tucker. John was a father figure to my sister and I throughout our formative years and I have him to thank for a fair amount of who I am today.
I was a bit nervous reconnecting after all these years, but in many ways it felt like we weren’t separated by all those years. It is funny how time doesn’t seem to weaken the bonds between some people.
I have never been good at keeping in touch with people. The years in the military gave me a very casual attitude towards friends and partings with the constant change, but as I grow older it is one of the things that I regret.
I believe that it is the relationships we form that define our lives and give us purpose, so my birthday present to myself this year was the chance to rekindle two relationships that are important to me. For that, I think it was one of the best birthdays yet.
I have uploaded a few photos from the weekend to the photo albums if anyone is interested.