Tanya and I were friends through thick and thin. Through my infatuations and break-ups, through her acquaintance with Valery. He was a 'little person', his head reached just to my middle, and I am very short. It took some getting used to, but in the end I stopped noticing his disability. The reason for that was that he didn't behave like there was anything wrong or different about his appearance. It was the opposite, people and, especially, women flocked to him, like he was some kind of a guru. He was pretty wise, but had his faults too. Tanya and he hit it off, got married and had a baby. In the course of all this, they broke up and got together twenty times, at least. In the end they split up. Valery was the one who told me to "talk to God", so, he'll forever have a place in my heart, even though I loved Tanya and wanted to support her.
When she had a baby, I didn't know anything about the experience of child-bearing or child-rearing. It must've been very lonely for her, having a baby on her own (her parents helped, but were mad at her). The relationship with Valery disintegrated, and they went their separate ways. Tanya had a golden heart, she made room in her life for many homeless individuals and animals. I felt that my own heart will break in pieces when I had to leave Russia and her.
Almost 10 years later, I came to Moscow with a seminar from our movement. The moment when I saw Tanya, we hugged and cried right there, on the street.
All these years in the U.S. I imagined how my open minded friends in Russia will react to the teachings about the purpose of life, restoration of that purpose and the life and mission of the Messiah. Nothing was as I pictured it. They didn't trust me enough, or they were too open minded: sometimes a person gathers the knowledge of the spiritual disciplines as a hobby, without sticking to or really practicing anything. But only that part of seeing my dear friends was disappointing. I treasure the time I spent with them. Now I only hope to see them again someday!