Wednesday, March 24, 2010

People from the past

I've been finding myself stopping during the day recently, staring out the window of my office, and thinking, "Gee, I wonder how so-and-so is doing".

I pretty sure I can blame it on Facebook - it seems over the past year I've spent more and more time reading statuses from high school friends I haven't seen in 15, 20 25 years, or co-workers from a decade ago. I have been able to catch up with people who have moved cross country or have stayed right where I saw them last.  And the pictures of their growing families are great.  It has been pretty fun visiting the past.

But then there are those people in my life that I didn't necessarily spend a lot of time with - but knew for one reason or another - who seem to pop into my brain every now and again.  And one of those people has resurfaced and I'm so excited, because more often than I realized, I wondered how she was doing.

Kerri wasn't a friend, if you were to look up the definition of a friend, but for a couple of years we did spend every 6 to 8 weeks together for an hour or two, laughing and talking about life. Come on ladies, who else could it be? My hairdresser!

She became my hair stylist after the guy I was going to couldn't seem to get me back home in under 3 hours.  She was new to the salon and after having to rebook a couple of times with her boss, I decided I'd just stick with her because I really enjoyed her company and she was genuinely a good kid. Seems weird, but I always wished the best for her.  The relationship she had with her family was refreshing and she had a really smart head on her shoulders.

Then, I believe it was the spring of 2006 (remember, I'm the chick who is lucky she remembers the year her children were born, so dates and I don't always match up), I got a message about an upcoming appointment with Kerri. There had been an accident.  She wasn't going to be able to do my hair so they needed to reschedule.  A million things from "fender bender" to "fall down the stairs" ran through my mind. I wondered what had happened.

As I soon learned, this vibrant, funny, giggly, 20-something year old had been the victim of a truly fluke accident. She had decided it would be neat to learn to horseback ride and during one of her sessions - with a helmet on - she got tossed by the horse and subsequently kicked in the head.  She was flown to a hospital in Boston where she stayed for weeks and weeks with her brain swollen, unable to speak, walk or move much. She wasn't paralyzed but those first few updates on her condition were heartwrenching.

She eventually returned to her parents home and last I had heard was walking with a cane, had lost some motor control and was suffering from speech impediments.

I stopped going to the salon where she had worked, because quite simply, without her laugh and presence it wasn't a relaxing place to be and I figured she wouldn't be returning. 

Flash forward to Monday and a good friend of mine, who also knew her, dropped me an email to say that she had run into Kerri while out to eat on Saturday and she was asking about me. I smiled. And got a tear in my eye. The update sounded great. She was walking on her own. Looked healthy. Had left the salon and was moving on to new things. And according to Kerri, it was a very big step that she recognized my friend and approached her.  To quote her, "I will mark this in my book."  So how blessed did I feel that she remembered me; some random client from years ago?

I got her email address and dropped her a note. She wrote back almost instantly, attaching two pictures of her and her new pug puppy. She sounds fantastic and we're planning on meeting for lunch soon.

I can't wait just to give her a hug. It was a great reminder that even if you don't spend years, months, or every day with someone, you can still leave an impression - and hopefully it's a good one - so when someone from the past comes to pay a visit, you can pick up right where you left off.

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