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Woman sends life-sized photo of herself to connect with long distance best friend in Victoria


If you happen to look in the window of this house in Victoria you will always find a woman waving back at you.

"She’s my best friend in the world," Caitlin says.

Except the version of the friend smiling out her front window is made of cardboard.

"It’s the best gift I’ve ever gotten," Caitlin smiles.

To appreciate that gift we need to go back almost two decades to when Caitlin first met the real, non-cardboard Teagan in Grade Eight.

"She just has this vibrant, hilarious personality," Caitlin says.

They connected instantly before embarking on one of those formative friendships that make you feel less alone in the world and more confident with expressing who you truly are.

"We were two peas in a pod and then it was over," Teagan says on a Zoom call from Winnipeg. "The most heart-wrenching thing ever."

After the school year was over, Teagan and her family moved half-way across the country from Caitlin.

"Our whole friendship has basically been apart," Caitlin says.

Although they have seen each other occasionally over the years, whenever they’d ask what the other wanted for their birthday, the answer would always be the same.

"I want you to be here," Teagan says. "I want to be hanging out with you."

Although that particular present proved too pricey to ever make possible, Caitlin and Teagan have stayed connected over the decades via Canada Post. They regularly mailed care packages before writing in a shared journal that they’ve been sending back and forth to each other.

"Just kind of sharing our lives together," Caitlin says of the now 15 years worth of journal entries that range from the silly to the substantial.

"[It’s] to feel like we’re together," Teagan adds.

Which brings us to this past year, when Teagan asked Caitlin the inevitable about her birthday.

"Before she said anything," Teagan smiles. "I was like, 'And not the typical. Send me you!'"

So Caitlin simply asked for a picture of Teagan enjoying herself with an animal while on vacation in Brazil. And if she was wearing a Richard Attenborough style adventure hat, all the better.

"I suddenly had an idea," Teagan laughs. "And it was the best idea I ever had!"

Although Teagan did share footage of herself interacting with South American simians, she also mailed Caitlin an unexpected package that she opened on camera.

"I was just laughing hysterically," Caitlin says of opening the large parcel and pulling out a life-size photo of Teagan waving while wearing an adventure hat. That was followed by a life-size photo of Teagan’s dog, Theo.

Both pictures featured cardboard stands so they could be propped-up to full height.

"I don’t think I could ever beat my own gift," Teagan laughs.

After 18 years of hoping to spend their birthdays being together, these best friends got the next best thing.

"This is insane," Caitlin laughs. "What am I supposed to do with this?"

Caitlin ended up bringing the pup picture to stand beside her desk at work, and placed Teagan in her front window to share some positivity with the people passing her place.

This summer, Caitlin’s planning to put the Teagan picture in her passenger seat and drive out east to visit Teagan in person, and reunite her faux best friend with the real one.

Both Teagan and Caitlin credit their enduring relationship with working to have fun with each other, despite the distance.

"When you find your person, no matter how old you are, you got to hold on tight to them," Teagan smiles. Top Stories

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