Reflection on Friendship

When strolling around the streets of Porto, Portugal, I stumbled upon three boys happily playing together. I stayed there a few minutes and started shooting some photos, to their delight.  Two of them were very close and showed a lot of affection and care for each other.

They reminded me of my relationship with Carla, my sweet and beloved ‘Caca’, my long-lasting friend, cousin and quasi-sister. As memories abounded, I reflected on the precious value of connection and friendship.


Carla is a cousin who was born three days before me, and according to our mothers (who are inseparable sisters), we have been close to each other since we were crying but happy babies. We grew up together, we played together, even when we didn’t live anymore in the same city, by the time we became teenagers. We united again later, studied at the same high school, and went to the same university. The inseparable cousins, and soul-sisters.

We separated again when she married and moved to another city, but reunited when I pursued my post graduation studies in the same place. I moved to other countries, and again our lives took different directions. We never separated though, as our friendship was never affected by physical distance.

I have the honor to be a godmother of her adorable first daughter, who I branded in my heart as my soul-daughter.  If that term doesn’t exist, I just invented it. My cousin has another daughter, who also lovingly calls me ‘godmother’, what humbles me so much. I equally adore her. The deep human connection, friendship, loyalty and love between our mothers, passed on to us, and continued through my relationship with her two daughters.

We have been together in good, sad, funny, ridiculous, frightening and very happy moments of our journeys from childhood to adulthood. There is nothing we would be ashamed of or could not say to each other. We are each other’s safe harbor.

There is a lot more that unite us. We understand each other with a few words. We lost a brother and a sister to cancer at a very young age, and that has affected both of us. She has later survived cancer herself. She is a warrior, a fighter, and the most authentic, generous, heartwarming, trustworthy, and adorable mother, wife, sister, cousin and friend who one could wish for. I am very proud and privileged to have someone like her in my life.

When I try to describe our relationship, I say that she is my memory. She knows every single and rich detail of our childhood experiences, and shares our tales with her daughters, who love to hear and laugh about our stories. Through her tales I see my life in rewind mode. Remembering some tough moments growing up, I am grateful for her ever present, unconditional support. I owe to her friendship, a great deal of what I have become.

Milan Kundera, a Czeck author, has described friendship better than I could do. Here it is.

“Friendship is indispensable to man for the proper function of his memory. Remembering our past, carrying it with us always, may be the necessary requirement for maintaining, as they say, the wholeness of the self. To ensure that the self doesn’t shrink, to see that it holds on to its volume, memories have to be watered like potted flowers, and the watering calls for regular contact with the witnesses of the past, that is to say, with friends. They are our mirror; our memory; we ask nothing of them but that they polish the mirror from time to time so we can look at ourselves in it.”Milan Kundera, in ‘Identity’


I am posting for Paula’s Thursday Special  at Lost in Translation. That’s is what she asked us today:

‘Today you are given the most common photo theme: reflection. It’s not difficult to find reflections around us, but maybe this time you could try to capture something you haven’t done before… Look around and challenge yourself!’ 

So, Paula, above there is a photo with reflections; what I haven’t done before, is to share my personal reflection about this special friendship. And here are the boys who inspired me:

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

23 thoughts on “Reflection on Friendship

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your dear cousin/sister…just lovely. Great photography as alway, dear, and I love the reflections on the street with the man. 🙂


  2. Ok so these photos are stunning, happy, lively shots, full of little boy mischief and your reflection shot is beautifully composed.
    But, it’s your words that have grabbed me today. Actually, they have brought a tear to my eye. How beautiful to have such a close bond with someone for so many years. She is your kindred spirit (as Anne with and e would say). Your words are touching and emotional and beautifully written. Xx


  3. The boys certainly had a great time posing for you – so playful and energetic. You are very fortunate to have such a special friend in your life, Lucile, but I would imagine that Carla would feel the same about you. Very well written, and a true reflection of love.


  4. Such a marvelous tribute. I think I may have choked up a little (remember, I aint’ a man’s man). And great shots of the boys!! Street photography, eh. What are you doing in Portugal?


  5. What a lovely description of your relationship with your cousin and I like your newly invented word. The photos of the boys are also great. A great interpretation.


  6. beautifully written and great photos! Friendships that are not affected by physical distance and the passing of time and life circumstances are the most precious ones!


  7. What a wonderful tribute to your sister-friend-cousin! Relationships like that are one-in-a-lifetime! I have a bestie who remembers everything about our middle school years, much to my chagrin! But very special, indeed! Great photos of the those cuties!! Have a wonderful Easter weekend!


  8. Such carefree and playful shots of these friends in Porto! They show how much fun friendship can be! Your description of Carla is beautiful…She sounds like an amazing, life-long friend and you are both lucky to have one another!


  9. Minha prima e irmã de alma, ler seu blog hoje foi o melhor presente de páscoa que poderia receber. Quanta generosidade, quanta beleza ao descrever nossa longa e linda amizade, que alegria saber que tenho esse significado em sua vida.
    Falar do significado que vc tem em minha vida , me faria repetir suas palavras, pois não tenho outras. Vc descreveu exatamente o q sinto q somos uma para a outra: amigas, fiéis escudeiras, leais, cúmplices, confidentes, nada que a distância tenha diminuído, muito pelo contrário, ela nos fez buscar maneiras de continuar mais unidas do q nunca, nas alegrias e nas tristezas…
    Obrigada Lu, por vc existir, por ser ser minha querida comadre, minha grande amiga, minha irmã de alma, por fazer parte da minha vida.
    Obrigada por essa linda homenagem!!
    Te amo!!!


  10. What a beautiful post and I am guessing Carla got to see this …points above…though I don’t understand what she has said I would be so blown away to have a post written to me like this,she must be over the moon. Glorious photos too x


  11. It worked today 🙂 I used to love Kundera – it has been ages since I read him. Your take is original and I love how your photos turned out. Now, to pick a favourite….


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