When I first met my husband, and we went out together, I would get jealous of how he would always run into old friends. Friends from university, high school, or elementary school, from the old neighbourhood or from a football team. He seemed to know everyone. Most of my life I have spent living in different places, and I rarely “run into” old friends.
I have been living in Chile for over 15 years, and 11 of those years my daughters have studied at the small rural school five minuets from our house. I have become in some way a part of the community. I have made friends, and run into them when I am out. It is nice, but it also comes with sadness.
There have been many deaths in this small village, from suicides, and car accidents to death during childbirth. Most of these people I have only know to say hello, and so during the Masses at the school or the long train of cars to the cemetery I stay back and observe the villagers’ grief from a distance.
Yesterday one of the school’s Tías died of cancer. She was also the mother of one of my oldest daughter´s class mates. In most Chilean schools the mothers spend a lot of time together. We work together all year to raise money, we have end of year days out, and even camping trips together with our kids. We spent nine years watching our children grow.
I have not seen her much since our kids “graduated” 8th grade, but I have many memories of her and how strong she was when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart goes out to her family, especially her three boys.
Calas negras, from our garden, they only flower in October, and seem fitting.