July 23, 2007

Past & Present

This weekend I went to the 80th birthday party of my best friend's father. I practically grew up in his home. My friend and I spent all of our time together. We were truly like sisters, so comfortable with each other and we still love each other like no other. Our lives could not be more different. She is a professor of psychology, only recently married, no children. She has traveled and lived all over the world, even to places that I've longed to go to, like Sweden. Ooo, I was mad at her then!

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.

"Sure they have water!" I told him.

"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.

This last calamity is brought up and laughed at still to this day.

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.


Paul said...

Hi. I just stopped by from Michele's not realizing I was clicking your name See, I was following up on most of the comments you just left there. (I don't usually play her games, but I'm cooling down from a long walk.)

Anyway, nice surprise and a delightful post. Enjoyed it. The best friend that I grew up with has already passed away. Some of me went with him. He's still my best friend.

rosemary said...

Oh, hold that friend ever so close to your heart. They leave so quickly. What wonderful memories and pix to go along....you are lovely. The post below with Sean? I only have the doggie and long for a grandchild to know me enough to be glad to see me drive up.