So yesterday, my family gathered around her dad, my second dad, and celebrated. Halfway through, my five year old asked me if I could get him a drink. "There's only diet soda in the cooler and they don't have any water," he said.
"Do you know where their sink is?" He asked.
So I walked him into the kitchen and got him some water. Then I walked him down the hall into my friend's bedroom and showed him where I spent days and years of my life, chatting away about boys, listening to WIFI 92 for our favorite songs, paging through college guides on her spare bed and finding the university that would lead me to meet his father.
How do my children not know these people? Her three brothers, her parents, her house, her sink? Can it be that I have to introduce my children to her brother who I sat next to at breakfast every single weekend of my adolescence? I don't know what all this means, but it was a strange feeling to wander back into a big slice of my old life and see how far from it I am now.
Her backyard, which was once rather empty and sunny, is now a beautiful garden with patios and redwood trees! Her mother, who was plagued with alcoholism in our youth, is a vibrant, healthy, victorious grandmother and incredible knitter. Her brothers, each who had their hard times, are the fathers of wonderful children. Everything's changed, except the friendship I still cherish with my Janey.
And it was discussed, remembered and laughed at yesterday, as well. No gathering is complete without it. We, and our friendship and, incredibly, even our reputation at school, survived this.
That is a good omen for years to come.