Two best friends, ballet and night bells

Last Wednesday I (Kirrily) went to Mum’s (Catherine’s) house to pick up her mail and to go on the search for photos.  I have been posting photos of my Mum to an album on Facebook since she died on Sunday the 6th of July as a dedication.

Included in the mail was a letter addressed to the family of Catherine Crout-Habel.

It was from Margaret Jordan – Mum’s very best childhood friend.  They went to ballet together and from the sounds of it were inseparable.  They had lost contact years ago but had met up sometime in the past couple of years.  Mum told me all about it, they had a wow of a day.

There was a card and it was addressed to ‘the family of my friend Cathy” and included a photo.

Here is some of the letter that I read through eyes filled with tears-

“Cathy was 2 years younger than me and we grew up at Alberton/Queenstown just like sisters.  We were always at one another’s places and went to ballet together.  We had so much fun together and Cathy sometimes went with my Mother and I to Mildura for a few days to visit some of my relatives.

When we both learnt piano, we used to run down North Tce in the city, pressing all the night time bells.

I caught up with Cathy a couple of years ago after not speaking for years.  We met at Largs Bay Kiosk and showed one another photos of our families and grandchildren (of which she was extremely proud).  We met at 10am and were still chatting at 5pm.  I had such a great day and it was just so good to see her again after all those years, it was like we had never been apart.

We both had our ears pierced n 1959 at the same time,Cathy’s being done for her birthday that year.  Oh how scared we were, but we had one another, so that was OK.

I have enclosed a photo of the 2 of us aged about 14 or 15.  We always had such fun together.  We could talk to each other about anything!

Cathy was a beautiful person and a true friend.

Catherine Crout-Habel and Margaret Jordan at approx. 14 or 15, circa 1960

Margaret included her address, and I will write back and I will include a memorial card from Mum’s funeral.  I was so pleased that she sent the card and the photo and a few of the memories that came flooding back to her when she read about Mum’s death.

What made this even more special for me was that it reminded me so much of my best childhood friend – Stacey.  We see each other still, almost every week and we often relive many childhood memories.  She is waging her own war on cancer and I am there helping her do it as best I can.  We too can talk to each other about anything, which is especially useful when she is sitting in a chemo chair.  It has always been the same – every time we would see each other it would be just as if we saw each other the previous day, no matter how long it had been.

Childhood friends are the greatest, if you are lucky enough to hang on to them.  They knew you as a child and they know you as an adult and are able to appreciate all that there is about you because they know you so well and have shared history with you.

Do you have a dear childhood friend like Mum did with Margaret and like I do with Stacey?  I’d love to hear.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Mum’s childhood friend as much as I enjoyed sharing it.

Cheers,

Kirrily

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21 thoughts on “Two best friends, ballet and night bells

  1. A lovely post Kirrily. Mum had just such a friend. They lost touch years ago and were reunited when that friend contacted me via my blog following a posting. Mum was then in touch with her old school friend from then up until the time she passed away.

    I was lucky enough to have two such school friends. One I met at my junior school so I was about 4 years old. We are still in touch now. The second friend I met at my middle school, so I was about 8 years old and we are also still in touch. Those early friendships are a treasure and it doesn’t matter if you don’t speak for ages, because when you do the time lapse does not matter.

    • Thanks Julie, I completely agree. How wonderful that your Mum got to catch up with her long lost friend before she passed away. Great that you are still in touch with your friends.

      Cheers,
      Kirrily

  2. What a beautiful story Kirrily. A few years ago on one of the schoolfriends sites I received contact from my childhood next door neighbour, Paul came over to Victoria from Western Australia for a visit and got to catch up with my mum before she passed away but sadly we hadn’t made contact before his mum had passed. Since facebook we have both reconnected with other kids from our street and it is so wonderful to share memories. Is the album of photos on Catherine’s facebook page? Hugs.

    • Thanks. Lovely that you got to reconnect with your friend and his Mum before she passed away. I have tagged Mum in the photos, so you should see them on her page. But, I could make her a contributor which means that all of her friends will see the whole album as it evolves.

      Cheers,
      Kirrily

  3. What a lovely tribute from your Mum’s friend..some people simply stay in your heart, no matter how many years pass. Great that they reconnected not too long ago. ‘Twas meant to be..

  4. A great post Kirrily. Your Mum was a lovely lady and I always enjoyed our comments to each other on our blogs. She was always pleasant to me.
    I’ve sat by the chemo chair when my wife was alive and it’s sometimes funny what thoughts she had at those times. I hope your friend responds to treatment and is soon back home again.
    Thank you for keeping the blog and the memories open for us.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Lovely to hear from you David. I have seen many lovely exchanges between you and Mum whilst perusing this blog.

      Unfortunately my friend’s treatment is palliative, so we are taking each day as a gift and making as many new memories as we can.

      It is amazing how healing it is for me to be doing this. As I communicate with more of you, I feel like her blog was for me. For me to be able to go back over the stories she told me over and over and most of them I still need reminding about as well as to keep the link with all the people she spent years building friendships with. She knew I would do it, I’m sure 🙂

      I haven’t had the time to get in to looking at each of your blogs yet, but I’m sure that will come.

      Cheers,
      Kirrily
      xx

  5. I’m sure she knew what a great legacy she left for you Kirrily. I loved this story even though (because?) I’ve lost touch with almost all my childhood friends as we moved away after we married. Perhaps I should do some FB searching? Enjoy the special days and memories with your friend – it takes courage and love to be with someone in difficult times like palliative care…you do your Mum proud.

    • Thanks Pauline. I definitely suggest you do some FB searching. Can’t do any harm, hey? 😉

      Yes, palliative care is hard, but is such a gift in many ways too.

  6. Hi Kirrily, I received your letter and card yesterday. Thank you for the memorial card. – I would not have recognised Mum. Would love to meet you one day. Give me a ring if you are coming down this way. Love, Margaret.. xx

    • Hi Margaret. My pleasure. I would love to meet you one day too. I will definitely arrange a time for us to catch up. Love, Kirrily xx

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