I have known Aileen since I was 12 years old back in 1972, living on an island meant that once you were ready for secondary school you had to board on the mainland during term times. I was terrified of going but was so very lucky to make friends with an amazing girl, Aileen, she was and still is everything I was not, stylish, witty and clever but best of all she was my friend, she made me feel like I fitted in and belonged.
Close to the summer holidays my family moved away and I had to suddenly leave with out even getting a chance to say good bye to Aileen, we started to write to each other and we have been writing letters, then emails ever since. Aileen moved to the USA, married and had two boys, I married and had two boys around the same time so we had lots to talk about.
Aileen’s Christmas card to me this year had tea bags in it and a note “a cup of friendship”. I saved my tea until all the hustle and bustle of Christmas was over and sat down in peace and quiet, made my tea and remembered being a girl. Aileen, someone I have admired for most of my life, thanks for always being there.