My childhood friend Sheila Wallet kept every letter and piece of paper that I had ever sent to her from 1973-1989. Sheila emailed me a few years ago and asked me if I wanted all the old letters and newspaper clippings I had sent her throughout the years. When I received them they were neatly piled and carefully dated with the envelopes stapled to the letters.
Sheila had always been the loyal friend that I waited for every morning, at approximately 8:35 on Albert Street, to walk to school. She had experienced most of my life first hand and was one of the very few friends who turned up at my father’s funeral in Quebec. We have not seen each other in years but deep down we both know that the other is still there and both of us still value and cherish our friendship
There has not been a day that has gone by that I do not think of Sheila and her family. Her father taught me how to ride a bike, and her mother always had nothing but kind words. Just because you lose contact from time to time, does not mean that you forget.
I read about the beginnings of my stores in the early 70’s and then saw clippings from magazines and newspapers with my designs in it. I wrote about wanting a child at the age of 25. In reality my first born, Schuyleur, arrived in my life when I was 35.
The very last correspondence was a fax dated Sept 03, 1989. I had told Sheila that I was planning to close my store in 1994 which eventually did not close until eight years later. Sheila had told me it was a good idea and that I should pursue a career in politics.
Years had flown by, yet it all still seemed like yesterday. It felt like we were still in her old basement and her mother was banging on the floor above us with a broom because she had endured enough of the song, “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.
I stood next to the dryer today waiting for the cycle to end with tears flowing down my face. How did life go by so fast? Where did it go?
I sighed and pulled the clothes out of the dryer. It felt like I made a 360 as they say and had briefly visited my past life for a few fleeting hours like “A Christmas Carol”. But, there were no ghosts and no evil deeds that had been done. It had just been our life and it had not been such a bad life. We had both survived and that, my friends, is a feat in itself.
Sheila and I both tried to make a difference to people in our lives. Who knew when we first became friends at the age of 2, what our destiny would be like. But if I die tomorrow, I know that I have tried. Just like Sheila and all the rest of my die-hard friends, who have never given up on me no matter what. I know that we are all grateful for everything, including each other. From the bottom of my heart I am blessed to call these people and others my friends for the past few decades. Memories always last even if the contact has lost some of its screws. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and— I just can’t seem to get any satisfaction without all of you.:)
Today is a day to salute your friends!
Linda Knight Seccaspina and Sheila Wallet Needham- 1950s Coney Island
Marion, Linda and Jacki 2015 –30 year reunuion
Jimmy, Ron and Linda 2015
Sheila Wallet Needham and grandchildren 2014
Daniel Richer dit Lafleche 2015
Daniel Richer dit Lafleche 2015 Carleton Place Santa Parade
Daniel Richer dit Lafleche and the late Michelle Cadieux with my Fred
Wanda Jane and Michael Lefleur
The Mysterious Shawn Scallen ? (hates photos) so no photo of him LOL
Denis de Laviolette