When I was 15, I didn’t have an inkling of what my future would be like. In fact, I don’t ever really recall envisioning it at all. I never dreamed of a future marriage, a life as a mother, or a particular career.
And it was at this time that I met a girl named Jackie. I had signed up for a drama class. You might think that a girl with the biggest hair known to man might stand out, but not in this class. Jackie blended in nicely with all these characters.
Later, in grade 13 (remember there used to be a grade 13?), Jackie and I ended up spending a great deal of time together. I only had two courses left to meet my requirements, so I hadn’t bothered to sign up for any others. This left me with more time out of school than in school, and Jackie seemed to be in the same boat. We worked our retail jobs, watched soap operas and generally killed time in enjoyable ways. It was not until the end of the year that Jackie realized I was not skipping classes and that I realized that she did not have spares. So Jackie went to grade 14, and I left town.
Jackie came to visit me for a weekend at my out-of-town university. She was living at home with her parents, where a fridge held food, not just a bottle of ketchup. There were a few other bits of culture shock encountered, and she did not come back for a return visit. But we kept in touch nonetheless. Especially during summers when I would come home to work.
Then she left to go to school out-of-town. This kind of cycle continued for years. Where one of us was in town, and one of us was not. But somehow, for some reason, we always kept in touch.
I didn’t know when I was 15 that Jackie would always be in my life. That when the going gets its toughest, she would be there. That she would marry a friend of my husband’s. That we would be honorary “aunties” to each others’ children.
I’m all soppy and joyful, so I hope you’ll join me in welcoming my beautiful new nephew Benjamin Harry into the world:
What things didn’t you know when you were 15? Do you have any lovely, tearful, soppy things to share. Let’s hear’em!