Family was invited to celebrate her at 5pm. Friends were welcomed at 7pm. I told her I would be there in between.
I’ve known Maiju since 1987 when we started in the same kindergarten. We were 3 years old and we both had the reddest of hairs. It was lovely even though I don’t remember anything about it. I do recall the shirts my Mom sewed for us. They were dark blue velvet and I smudged mine on the first day. I also remember us discovering that our grandparents were namesakes. Maiju’s granny was Aino and so was mine. Her grandpa was Aarne and mine was also. When she told me this I thought she was telling a lie. But no. She was dead honest. We were standing outside a flower shop and we were five.
In Finland you go to preschool at the age of 6. So did we, but apart from another. But girls who’s age difference is only two days (that’s us!) are persistent. We wrote letters that were long & always started with “How are you? I am fine” (“Mitä sulle kuuluu? Mulle kuuluu hyvää.”). In those letters we explained what we had gotten for Christmas. What was going on at school. How were our hobbies. And had we both read the same amount of Sweet Valley High books. I still remember her home address, but I’m positive she doesn’t recall mine.
After the Good Years of Great Correspondence came silence. We send one or two emails during Junior High & High School. So that we knew how we were and who we were and were we. Next time we met, we were studying at the same Uni and turning 21. It was 2005 and we decided to celebrate our 21st birthday together. A beautiful story would end right about here telling you that since that party we’ve been inseparable. But no, not us. It took much more.
Even though I’m the one with good memory, I don’t know why or how or exactly when we united again. Oh yes I remember we started seeing each other in every 6 weeks in 2009. We enjoyed Sunday brunches, talked about stuff and drank loads of coffees and teas and smoothies. Our life cycles were the same and we went through major ups and downs together.
But all I can say is that today I feel so blessed to know her. To be one of those people she considers a friend. To be that someone who’s in between. For after all our grandparents were namesakes.
These following images were taken at her graduation party. She truly is One Great Master.